VietNamNet Bridge – The volume of toxic chemicals that the pesticide company Nicotex Thanh Thai buried in its campus is estimated at tens of tons, dozen times higher than the figure that the company has declared. Notably, this firm buried toxic chemicals over ten years ago.





Digging to find chemicals at the pesticide company.


The excavation of toxic chemicals is underway at this company, in Cam Van commune, Cam Thuy district, Thanh Hoa province, carried out by the Vietnam Environmental Resources Technology Investment JSC (DTM).

The excavation of 10 sites in the pesticide factory began on October 11 by DTM and it is expected to last in 26 days.

DTM’s director – Mr. Le Anh Tung says that the first site of excavation is a tank of 4m3 in capacity, which was buried about ten years ago. This tank includes pesticide mixed with lime and iron alum.

The authorities have not identified what is made by the mixture so the excavation activities are carried out very carefully, Tung says. DTM had to use four large fans to reduce the odor of hazardous wastes to reduce the risk for workers and supervisors.

According to Tung, the pesticide company declared that this tank contains 380kg of pesticide but in fact, the tank has 5-6 tons of toxic chemicals. The total volume of toxic chemicals buried in this firm’s campus is up to tens of tons, Tung says.

Colonel Do Dinh Phu - Deputy Chief of Thanh Hoa Environmental Police Department and Chief supervisor, says: "The excavated chemicals are not verified yet but in this area the odor is very unpleasant, causing difficulty breathing even though we are equipped with specialized gas masks."

Colonel Phu says that the authorities and local people have just discovered an additional six sites burying packaging and bottles containing hazardous waste in the campus of Nicotex Thanh Thai Company.

Phu adds that as the real volume of chemicals is over ten times higher than declaration, the excavation will be longer.

“We will excavate the suspected sites, not only the sites revealed by Thanh Thai Company. However, the cost to handle poisons unearthed could be huge," Phu says.

Farmers’ associations guide members to sue pesticide firm

Mr. Nguyen Van Khoi, chairman of the Farmers' Association of Cam Van commune, tells VietNamNet that the association will be side by side with its members and with the farmers’ associations of the neighboring communes in Cam Thuy district to guide people to sue the chemical company.

According to Khoi, local people will sue the pesticide manufacturer to claim compensation not only for themselves but also for their descendants. In Cam Van, a thousand of people suffer from serious diseases; many women gave birth prematurely and have deformed babies; and many young people died.

To protect its members, the farmers’ association of Yen Lam commune has asked for help from the Vietnam Lawyers' Association Central Committee.

Mr. Le Thien Nghia, Chairman of Farmers Yen Lam says that the association has gathered more than 800 petitions of farmers.

Mr. Trinh Dinh Chau, Deputy Chair of Thanh Hoa province farmers’ association states: "The acts of Nicotex Thanh Thai are unacceptable. The Provincial Farmers’ Union will accompany the people to sue this firm because the company has made people to suffer, to live in pollution and diseases."

Le Anh

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