A study by International Pollutants Elimination Network with Arnika and Ecological Alert and Recovery – Thailand has found high levels of Dechlorane Plus in the blood, food chain, and communities of Thai plastic e-waste workers. Dechlorane Plus often serves as a flame retardant in plastics used for electronics and the auto industry, but the study showed that when these toxic plastics are dismantled for recycling, e-waste workers suffer significant exposures to the toxic flame retardant. Compared to a reference group of nearby organic farm workers, on average the waste workers blood contained 40 times higher levels of Dechlorane Plus.
India's NIP reveals that the
major contribution of POPs like PCDD/DF emission is from waste
incineration and ferrous and non-ferrous metal production categories
followed by heat and power generation sector. Waste incineration has
66.75% share of the total annual releases. The second highest source is
ferrous and non-ferrous metal production. Copper recycling is the most
leading industrial activity contributing to the PCDD/DF releases. These
are the most important sectors that will require special attention and
control. The highest amount of PCDD/DF is released into residues 63.12%,
followed by air emission which accounts for 32.66% of the total
releases. Main source categories are waste incineration, ferrous and
non-ferrous production, heat and power generation, production of
minerals, transport, uncontrolled combustion processes, production of chemicals, consumer goods and disposal/ landfill. Contrary to these findings and the provisions of the Stockholm Convention, governments in India are building some 250 waste incineration plants to burn mixed municipal waste laden with plastic and produce electricity. This has been revealed by R. K Singh, Union Minister for Power and New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
In such a backdrop, the inclusion of these chemicals in the will alert every worker and community about the toxic chemicals which threaten their bodies, their food, and their health throughout the plastic waste stream. It will help governments enact laws that can prevent contamination of human body and the food chain.