Hazardous substances assessment

​Baltic Sea life continues to be disturbed by hazardous substances


The goal of the Baltic Sea Action Plan for hazardous substances is 'Baltic Sea life undisturbed by hazardous substances'. The latest thematic assessment of hazardous substances in the Baltic Sea released in 2010, indicated that a lot remains to be done before the goal is reached. Nevertheless, there are encouraging signs of decreasing trends in certain substances and improving health status of some predators. The same trend can be seen in the recent core indicator assessments.

The main basin of the Baltic Sea together with the Kiel and Mecklenburg Bights have been identified as the most contaminated areas in the latest thematic assessment. The status of coastal areas is highly variable, generally the contamination level was higher near larger cities. Substances such as PCBs, lead, DDE, cadmium, mercury, TBT and dioxins as well as brominated substances typically occur at the highest concentrations in relation to the set threshold values in 2007.