Contamination in and around Koh Samet causing concern

The second test of the seawater around Koh Samet, which was hit by the oil spill, shows the level of total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) as being 200 times over the accepted standard, an informed source said yesterday.

Mercury levels remain high and the contamination has spread to other parts of the island.

According to the source, the Pollution Control Department (PCD) collected seawater samples last Thursday to study the level of contamination and results show that the level of TPH is 200 times higher than the accepted standard of 0.5 microgram per litre.

Meanwhile, the level of mercury was measured at about two to four times higher than the standard of 0.1 microgram per litre and has been detected in other areas surrounding Koh Samet. Samples collected on August 3 also showed an excessive level of mercury, the PCD revealed on Tuesday. The level of mercury at Ao Phrao on the west of the island and Ao Tub Tim on the east were recorded at 2.9mg per litre and 0.25mg per litre respectively.

The results of another test conducted by the Marine and Coastal Resources Department and released on Tuesday showed that the concentration of TPH in Ao Noi Na was 1.05mg per litre, which exceeds accepted standards of 0.5mg per litre. The tests were conducted on samples collected between August 4 and 6.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Vichet Kasemthongsri yesterday instructed PCD officials to collect further samples of seawater from around the island for testing. He expects to release the test results today.