- MOSCOW (AFP) - A deep sea
dump of Nazi chemical weapons threatens to pollute the North Sea and the
Baltic, a team of Russian scientists warned Tuesday.
- The leader of the team, which has just returned from
an expedition to Denmark and Norway, told AFP the Allies had dumped the
hazardous chemicals in containers near the Gulf of Skagerrak at the end
of World War II.
- The scientists measured "levels of arsenic between
50 and 100 times the norm, and a concentration of heavy metals twice the
norm," said expedition leader Vadim Paka, of the Russian Academy of
- He said the concentration levels did not pose an immediate
threat to the nearby populations, but added that the effects of erosion
in the open sea, "when the containers rust and break up, risk causing
an ecological catastrophe."
- Paka added that the expedition had taken measurements
at depths of between 190 and 215 metres (yards) in the Gulf of Skagerrak,
which lies between Denmark and Norway, where about 20 vessels loaded with
chemical weapons had been dumped.
- Almost 70 boats in total had been dumped in different
parts of the North Sea and the Baltic, he said.
- "We have gathered a number of readings which show
that toxic agents have infiltrated the water," Paka said before urging
the governments of the region to undertake a detailed study of the submerged
- "There is no more time to be lost, because no conservation
scheme is technically possible without a detailed study," he said,
underlining that Russia did not have the money to finance such a project.
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