Mayor slams Greenpeace criticism

PHUKET: Phuket Town Mayor Phummisak Hongyok yesterday angrily dismissed a report by environmentalist group Greenpeace that alleges the waste incinerator in Saphan Hin emits higher than normal levels of the toxic substance, dioxin. Speaking at a press conference at the Phuket Merlin Hotel, Mayor Phummisak said, “If they wanted to talk about this, they should have sent their people to talk to ours in a seminar or something, so that the public could know [all] the facts, not just some of them.” The Greenpeace report was submitted to the Ministry of Health, along with research arguing against the use of incinerators, as part of the organization’s campaign to stop the building of more incinerators in Thailand. Much of the research was used in a story in the mass-circulation newspaper, Khao Sod. In its report to the Ministry, Greenpeace asserted that the level of dioxin from the Phuket incinerator is higher than accepted norms. The report also contained research from Belgium asserting that teenagers living near industrial incinerators had higher levels of toxins in their bodies, resulting in an increased risk of cancer, and in youngsters having smaller testicles or breasts than in areas set apart from incinerators. “Phuket has only one incinerator while other countries like Korea and Singapore have many incinerators,” the Mayor said. “Why did they focus only on Phuket?” Dr Pol Sagetong, Project Adviser at the Phuket incinerator, noted at the press conference, “[The report] doesn’t say who did the research, the location or methodology, the type of incinerators or other factors that would make a big difference to the results. “We test for dioxin emissions from the incinerator every six months and the level of dioxin is currently about one twenty-eighth of accepted standards,” he added.

Phuket News
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