There are chemical weapons at the bottom of the Baltic Sea that could lead to a large-scale ecological disaster. Over the years, corrosion occurs, releasing dangerous chemicals.
There may be up to 100,000 at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. tons of weapons after World War II – “Gazeta Wyborcza” reported. The exact number is difficult to estimate, as are the locations of dumped mines, barrels and bombs loaded with toxic chemicals. Initially, the Gotland Deep was chosen as the main area, but the route turned out to be too long, so the cargo was dropped at random places along the convoy routes. The Bornholm Deep and the Gdańsk Deep were also places of sinking.
Research by scientists from the Polish Academy of Sciences shows that a mustard gas bomb pollutes water and, in fact, kills undersea fauna and flora within a radius of up to 70 m. In flooded areas, the frequency of various fish diseases is higher. Experts warn that over the years, ammunition casings corrode, releasing dangerous chemicals into the Baltic Sea.
Ticking bombs at the bottom of the Baltic Sea
The problem is being dealt with by scientists who have made politicians interested in the matter. Pomeranian Marshal Mieczysław Struk emphasized that chemical weapons are a ticking bomb that must be disarmed. In 2021, the Supreme Audit Office pointed out in a report the danger associated with chemical weapons, accusing the government of inaction and lack of willingness to address the problem. Other entities wash their hands of it, arguing that the matter does not fall under their competence.
The government, in turn, assures that it monitors pollution in the Baltic Sea and does not see a “serious threat”. The problem was to be diagnosed by a special team of specialists appointed by the Prime Minister. However, the matter was limited to summarizing the existing knowledge. Prof. Jacek Bełdowski pointed out that the problem with chemical extraction is global, and such an operation costs billions of dollars.