Exposure status of sea-dumped chemical warfare agents in the Baltic Sea

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Vanninen , P , Östin , A , Beldowski , J , Pedersen , E A , Söderström , M , Szubska , M , Grabowski , M , Siedlewicz , G , Czub , M , Popiel , S , Dziedzic , D , Jakacki , J , Paczek , B & Nawala , J 2020 , ' Exposure status of sea-dumped chemical warfare agents in the Baltic Sea ' , Marine Environmental Research , vol. 161 , 105112 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marenvres.2020.105112

Title: Exposure status of sea-dumped chemical warfare agents in the Baltic Sea
Author: Vanninen, Paula; Östin, Anders; Beldowski, Jacek; Pedersen, Erik A.; Söderström, Martin; Szubska, Marta; Grabowski, Milosz; Siedlewicz, Grzegorz; Czub, Michal; Popiel, Stanislaw; Dziedzic, Daniel; Jakacki, Jaromir; Paczek, Bartlomiej; Nawala, Jakub
Contributor organization: Department of Chemistry
Date: 2020-10
Language: eng
Number of pages: 10
Belongs to series: Marine Environmental Research
ISSN: 0141-1136
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marenvres.2020.105112
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/321205
Abstract: About 50 000 tons of chemical weapons (CW) were dumped to the Baltic Sea after the Second World War. Munitions are located in the deep areas of the Baltic Sea, and there they act as a point source of contamination to the ecosystem. Corroded munitions release chemical warfare agents (CWAs) to nearby water and sediments. In this study we investigated known dumpsites (Bornholm, Gotland and Gdansk Deep) and dispersed chemical munitions, to evaluate the extent of contamination of nearby sediments, as well as to assess the degradation process of released CWA. It was found that CWA-related phenylarsenic chemicals (Clark I, Clark II and Adamsite) and sulfur mustard are released to the sediments and undergo environmental degradation to chemicals, of which some remain toxic. The extent of pollution of released CWAs and their corresponding degradation products reaches more than 250 m from the CW objects, and seem to follow a power curve decrease of concentration from the source. Bornholm Deep is characterised with the highest concentration of CWAs in sediments, but occasional concentration peaks are also observed in the Gdansk Deep and close to dispersed munitions. Detailed investigation of spreading pattern show that the range of pollution depends on bottom currents and topography.
Subject: Sea-dumping
Chemical weapons
Chemical warfare agents
Exposure status
Chemical pollution
Environmental impact
Hazardous wastes
116 Chemical sciences
1172 Environmental sciences
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by_nc_nd
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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