Dumpade C-stridsmedel i Skagerack och Östersjön - en uppdatering
Publish date: 2001-01-01
Report number: FOI-R--0148--SE
Written in: Swedish
After the Second World War, large quantities of stockpiled German chemical weapons were dumped at sea by the allies. In the early nineties, public attention was drawn to the dumped chemical munition in the Swedish media. The Swedish National maritime Administration was comissioned to investigate the alleged dumping. Their conclusion was that dumping had taken place in two areas on the Swedish continental shelf, namely outside the Måseskär Ligthhouse in the Skagerrak, and in an area southeast of Gotland in the Baltic Sea. In 1992 an ad hoc working group was established by the HELCOM to investigate the dumping in the Baltic Sea. In their final report, it was concluded that according current knowledge, the threath to the marine environment did not motivate any recovery operation of the chemical munitions owing to the risks associated with such a recovery. However, current knowledge of the corrosion status of the munitions, the behaviour of persistent warfare agents in marine environment, and the biological effects of such agents are incomplete. Further investigations were therefore recommended and international cooperation encouraged. Denmark was appointed Lead country to which all member countries were supposed to send their findings and reports. The Danish Envioronmental Protection Agency has however not yet received any such information. Several international conferences have been held since the HELCOM working group was disbanded. The consensus is that some kind of environmental monitoring of the dumpsites ought to take place and that research in the behaviour of persistent chemical warfare agents in the marine environament must be carried out too. However little has been done in that line so far.