Assessment of the selected POPs (PCBs, PCDDs/Fs, OCPs) in the atmosphere and water ecosystems from the waste materials generated by warfare in former Yugoslavia

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In general, is a little data on POPs compounds levels in many Central and Eastern European countries. But we have not to forget to the fact that this region has very specific problems of environmental pollution, which are the results of the recent wars. During Balkan wars (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina) and operation "Allied Force" in the spring of 1999, the burning or damaging of industrial and military targets in the Kosovo, and Serbia resulted in the release of a large number of chemicals into the environment. There are great fears and concrete evidence these significant quantities of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB); various flame-retardants, explosives, and their by-products were released in the environment during warfare. During uncontrolled combustion of PCB and other organohalogens, even more dangerous polyhalogenated dibenzofurans and dibenzodioxins are formed, so the area under warfare operations was under even greater jeopardy.

Even though there are no large urban centres in the karst area in former Yugoslavia suffered from the war, it deserves special attention because of its high ecological sensitivity. The atmospheric releases contained also persistent organic pollutants, which are known to be hazardous to health. Under suitable meteorological conditions, these chemicals can be transported across borders over large distances. The results of these conflicts can led to the long-range transport of these pollutants round the world and can be long-term source of problems. This hypothesis was preliminary confirmed by some measurement in the neighbour countries.

Before war conflict some parts of former Yugoslavia were seriously contaminated with PCBs. For instance in 1983 high concentrations of PCBs were found in the water and sediments of the Krupa River in the area Bela Krajina. The experiences and accession during the process of remediation, which will be acquired with collaboration in the Project, will be further applied in Slovenia as well. At the end of the first year of investigation within Project workpackages we have obtained the following results:

Passive sampling
sampling sampling sampling
sampling sampling sampling

Work packages:

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