Using of chemicals usually results in public health risk. As nations continuously developed, it is unavoidable to observe increasing in the volume of chemicals usage. For Thailand, the problem of chemicals has been getting lots of attention lately. For Thailand case, the problem of chemicals used in agricultural sector is misuse of pesticide, chemicals used in industrial sector is health problem caused by working in factories that used hazardous chemicals, and chemicals used in public health and domestic sector is chemical residues which are found in food, drugs, and cosmetics. All of these problems raised concern from the general public.

From the above mentioned problems, the first national master plan on chemical safety development (1997-2011) was established and the plan was updated to the 2nd and the 3rd National Master Plan on Chemical Safety Development, and the 4th National Strategic Plan on Chemical Management (2012-2021) which was approved by the Cabinet on April 12th 2011. The plan is continuously updated as needed and in 2017 with announcement of National Strategy B.E. 2560 – 2579 (2017 – 2036), the 4th National Strategic Plan was updated and transformed to the Chemical Management Master Plan 2019 – 2037.

The Chemical Management Master Plan 2019 – 2037 has its vision on “Chemical management which lead to safe population, clean environment and quality product which compatible with international standard” and 6 main strategies of the plan including:

  1. increase efficiency on chemical management and inspection;
  2. development of large database management;
  3. risk assessment and designation of standard;
  4. building awareness and change of production and consumption habit;
  5. completely reduction of risk from chemical hazard; and
  6. research and development on innovation of chemical use replacement.

The objectives of the plan are 1) to develop systematic management of chemicals to cover their entire life cycle and to be in line with national and international development 2) to minimize risk and impact of chemicals on health and environment, and 3) chemical management is suitable for country development and international standard. The 5 main targets of the plan are as followed:

  1. Set up a new agency which can effectively integrated chemical management and set up a central chemical database which can be systematically linked with related agencies;
  2. 2 times increase in innovations which can lead to safe use of chemicals, such innovations can be commercially used no less than 30%;
  3. Accomplishment on risk reduction from using of chemicals in agricultural sector, public health sector, industrial sector and transportation sector;
  4. 25% of the population with more than 13 years old change his/her consuming habit which leads to better health and environmentally friendly; and
  5. Become ASEAN leader on chemical management which is compatible to international standards or guideline.

All these targets signify future development of chemical regulations in Thailand. In order to oversee action of each agencies responsible for Chemical Management Master Plan 2019 – 2037, the Cabinet has appointed National Chemical Management Policy Committee on January 29th, 2019. And, the 4 years action plan (2019-2022) was developed under Chemical Management Master Plan 2019 – 2037 with regulation development project as followed:

Projects Budget (year) Responsible Agencies
1) Development of chemical regulations – Chemical Act B.E. … 8 Million
(2019 – 2022)
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Department of Industrial Works (DIW)
2) Improvement of fisheries department regulations under Hazardous Substances Act. B.E. 2535 7.7 Million
(2019 – 2022)
Fisheries Department
3) Development of daughter regulation under ministerial regulation on occupational safety, health, and environment on working with hazardous chemicals. 0.3 Million
(2019 – 2021)
Department of Welfare and Labor Protection
4) Development of criteria on safe use of chemicals in agricultural sector. 3.5 Million
Pollution Control Department (PCD)
5) Development of criteria and handbook relating to chemical emergency response 0.4 Million
(2019 – 2020)
6) Development of PRTR regulation 4.8 Million
(2019 – 2022)
7) Setting up safety standard for laboratory. 9.9 Million
National Research Council of Thailand
8) Improvement of GAP standard for edible plants. 0.12
National Bureau of Agricultural Commodity and Food Standards
9) Green Industry 37.72
(2019 – )
10) Improvement of regulations relating to transportation of hazardous merchandise by air.
(2019 – 2021)
The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand
11) Development of regulations relating to sign need to put on packaging which indicating hazardous chemicals that pose danger to marine environment. Marine Department

Perhaps the most significant activity under the Chemical Management Master Plan 2019 – 2037 is Development of Chemicals Act B.E. … responsible by Food and Drug Administration and Department of Industrial Works. This act was drafted by subcommittee under National Chemical Management Policy Committee and have already done extensive hearing since 2019. The Chemicals Act B.E. … has principle as followed:

  • Establish a chemical management act that can protect public health, the environment, helping promote a sustainable economy, in accordance with international guidelines;
  • Depeleop the Chemicals Act in reference to existing hazardous substance regulations;
  • Change the country’s context from the old one to the comprehensive chemical management (import, manufacture, transport, use, storage, distribution, disposal, treatment, destruction and reuse);
  • Unity connection between agencies under one policy by having representative committee;
  • Cover the use of chemicals in the agricultural sector, industrial sector, and public health sector, and the transportation sector to be covered in the future;
  • All chemicals must be assessed for health and environmental risks by academic subcommittee before allowing to be used. This scheme will protect people and environmental quality from hazardous chemicals;
  • Facilitate competitiveness of chemical business in Thailand;
  • Reform National Chemical Management Policy Committee by permitting only person who has no stake in any chemical business; and
  • Repeal Hazardous Substance Act, B.E. 2535, Hazardous Substance Act (No. 2), B.E. 2544 , Hazardous Substance Act (No. 3), B.E. 2551, and Hazardous Substance Act (No. 4), B.E. 2562 and change name to “Chemicals Act, B.E. …”.

Regulation under Chemical Management Master Plan 2019 – 2037 that has already been announced including,

  • Ministerial Regulation of Industry No. 27 (B.E. 2563), announced in the government gazette on March 18th, 2020. This regulation integrate PRTR concept into reporting system under Factory Act. B.E. 2535 (1992). It simply states that the factory handling designated chemicals by producing, possessing, using or other means of factory operation must report information as followed:
    • the amount of production, possession and using of chemicals;
    • the amount of transfer of such chemicals to outside factory premises;
    • procedures used to control such chemicals release;
    • specification of related equipment and tools;
    • measurement of pollution control system’s performance;
    • release of such chemical to the environment; and
    • other related information which may announced in the government gazette.
  • Announcement of Department of Land Transportation on Transport Document Required on Vehicle Used to Transport Hazardous Substance B.E.2563), Announced in the government gazette on December 30th, 2020. Documents (in Thai) required while transport of hazardous substance are:
    • Manifest document or document which help identify information of hazardous substance being transported;
    • Written documentation which gives recommendation on response in case of accidental spill, on properties of hazardous substances, and on equipment required to handle;
    • Certificate for vehicle used for hazardous substance transportation;
    • Training certificate on transportation of hazardous substance for driver;
    • Driving license of driver issued by government; and
    • Manifest documents should have at least: UN Number, Name of Hazardous Substance, GHS Label, package, tunnel code, the number of vessels, the amount of hazardous substance, name of sender and name of receiver.

These 2 regulations are the example of what developed under Chemical Management Master Plan 2019 – 2037. Although the advent of COVID-19 pandemic slows down the most of these projects, as soon as such problem has passed, various chemical regulations should be continuously developed according to the plan.