Chawat Thepthup and district waste officials inspected the private house a half-kilometer from the market to find tons of the black sand packaged in large bags waiting to be loaded on 10 trucks.
This suspected toxic waste turned out to be nothing more than a metallic compound used to sand boats.
Homeowner Narisra Juajesai, 37, said he didn’t understand what the fuss was over, saying the compound was called “Sambus” and had been obtained from a friend who has a stone mill. Normally, he said, the powder is either dumped in a landfill or recycled into metal bars, but can be used to scrub rust off boat hulls and is not toxic.
District experts confirmed the owners story and departed.