COHIBA Project indicates signs of acute toxicity in treated wastewaters around the Baltic Sea
Helsinki, 27 May (HELCOM Information Service) - COHIBA, the international project on the control of hazardous substances in the Baltic Sea Region, has released a newsletter to present the preliminary results of the vast water sampling programme which showed detectable acute toxicity in some of the treated wastewaters in the Baltic Sea area. The presence of acute toxicity is a sign that either wastewater is not being sufficiently treated, or the applied treatment technology doesn’t trap all toxic streams.
The COHIBA Project has carried out case studies in eight Baltic Sea countries where municipal and industrial wastewater, landfill effluents and storm water outflows from selected sites have been screened for ecotoxicity and the presence of 11 selected hazardous substances. Up to 240 water and sludge samples were taken during one year.
Concentrations of many of the observed toxic compounds were low or even below analytical detection limits. However, these compounds are persistent and bioaccumulative, and there is no information yet available concerning their combined effects on aquatic organisms.
The latest COHIBA News issue also features preliminary results of the inventory of measures to reduce emissions of hazardous substances to the Baltic Sea. A full-scale outcome of the inventory will be presented later in 2010 and will be utilized in the work of HELCOM as agreed in the recently adopted HELCOM Moscow Ministerial Declaration on the implementation of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan.
Additionally, COHIBA News reports on the development of a multi-language electronic glossary of terms related to hazardous substances management and chemicals safety. The glossary features English terms already used in the EU, together with their translations and explanation in five languages: Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish and Russian. A special Russian appendix1) providing better understanding of the differences in hazardous substances management systems has been added to the glossary, since the Russian system differs from the one applied within the EU.
The COHIBA Project aims to identify the most significant sources of hazardous substances of specific concern for the Baltic Sea and develop cost-effective solutions to reduce their discharges. The overall objective of the project is to support the implementation of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan to reduce pollution to the Baltic Sea and restore its good ecological status by 2021.
The COHIBA Project (2009-2012) is co-financed by the European Union within the Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013. It involves 22 partners from eight Baltic Sea countries, and is led by the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). HELCOM is one of the Project Partners of COHIBA.
1) The Russian section of the glossary has been supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety in the project Capacity-building on chemicals management in North West Russia.
COHIBA web site: www.cohiba-project.net
For more information, please contact:
Ms. Ansa Pilke
COHIBA Project Manager
Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)
Tel: +358 (0)40 834 6537
Fax: +358 (0)9 5490 2390
Ms. Ulla Ahonen
COHIBA Project Officer
Tel: (0)400 315 790
Fax: +358 (0)207 412 645