Hazardous Chemical Substances

There is news about the illegal activities concerning cadmium where over 10 thousand tons of cadmium waste were found in several warehouses located in Bangkok, Samut Sakhon, and Chonburi. The cadmium waste was transported from the storage site owned by Bound and Beyond Public Company Limited in Tak province. Bound and Beyond Public Company Limited was formerly known as Padaeng Industry Public Company Limited which operated a zinc-mining business before switching to the hotel business. Bound and Beyond Public Company Limited was seen to be at fault for improperly disposing of toxic waste by selling the tailings to J & B Metal Co., Ltd. under a contract that required the latter to dispose of them. The government official, therefore, ordered the closure of areas where those chemical wastes were found to prevent negative impact to nearby residents and ordered the company responsible for mishandling cadmium waste to conduct the transportation of cadmium wastes from warehouses to be properly buried at a permanent dump site in Tak. The transportation was strictly overseen by the Ministry of Industry.

Another incident worth mentioning about chemical substances is the explosion of a large pyrolysis gasoline (pygas) tank at a chemical storage site at the Map Ta Phut Industrial Port on Thursday 9 May 2024. The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) declared a Level 2 Emergency in the area and ordered the immediate evacuation of everyone from the port and the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate as the fire was spreading. Level 2 Emergency refers to an uncontrollable emergency that causes damage to people, property, operations, or the environment and requires evacuation. The fire sent huge plumes of acrid black smoke into the air before eventually being brought under control at 4.50 pm. There were at least 1 casualty and 4 injured people being sent to the hospital. The incident not only affects the industrial sector, but also the tourism sector; many fruit farms in Rayong reported tour cancellations after the explosion. The IEAT was instructed to closely monitor all factories in an industrial estate and a port and strictly comply with the Factory Act. The government and relevant authorities need to strengthen the safety measures to prevent future incidents.

Factories must comply with the Factory Act, B.E.2535, in accordance with the type set out in the act and its subordinate regulations.

The activity of the hazardous chemical substance is regulated under the Hazardous Substance Act, B.E.2535. The Hazardous Substance Act also empowers the Ministry of Industry to issue a notification prescribing the list of hazardous chemical substances and the responsible authority.

The operation of factories and activities, such as possession, importation, and exportation of the chemical substance, must be done in accordance with regulations prescribed by the relevant authorities to ensure that the chemical substances are properly treated, and the public safety standards are met.