The Nation



PCD to declare tambon in Kalasin's Khongchai district a pollution-control zone

The Pollution Control Department (PCD) plans to declare tambon Khok Sa-ard in Kalasin's Khongchai district a pollution-control zone and implement metal-poisoning mitigation measures, after its findings that lead contamination in the soil was three times and arsenic level two times the safety level.

Most residents in tambon Khok Sa-ard's 12 villages separated waste for a living as the area has a landfill that is reportedly loaded with more than 2,000 tonnes of electronic waste every month. A previous random test on the locals showed that three of 89 adults and 21 of 129 small children had lead in their bloodstream.

PCD chief Wichien Jungrungruang yesterday said a pollution test conducted on May 20 showed that soil in the landfill had 2,636 milligrams per kilogram of lead, which is nearly seven times the safety level of 400mg/kg. They also found 9.6mg/kg of arsenic, compared with the standard 3.9mg/kg.

In tests at the homes of those who separate waste, lead contamination was 1,388mg/kg, three times the standard, and arsenic was 6mg/kg, double the standard. A water sample from Ban Sa-ard Moo 2 irrigation canal showed 93mg/kg of lead compared with the safety standard of 50mg/kg. It is suspected the contamination resulted from the villagers' work of stripping copper and metal.

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