Poland: Oder River disaster remains a mystery, environment minister says no toxins found in the waterway

Source: Polish Minister Anna Moskwa during her talks with German Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (Source: Twitter Anna Moskwa).
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

None of the samples of water taken from the Oder River have revealed toxic substances that could have caused the mass die-off of fish over the past few days, announced Polish Minister for Climate and Environment Anna Moskwa on Tuesday.

Moskwa pointed to three possible explanations for the environmental disaster that’s hit the Oder River

The first hypothesis is that pollution in the form of a toxic substance was dumped in the river as waste. This theory appears to be falling apart due to the negative samples taken from the river. 

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The second hypothesis is that the fish died from natural causes caused by the high air temperature, low water levels, and an increase in the density of pollutants. This is being examined by the environmental inspectors who have confirmed a high level of salinity in the river. 

The third hypothesis is that a release of industrial wastewater containing high levels of chlorine could have caused impurities already existing on the river bed to become active. 

The minister confirmed that no pesticides were found in the dead fish nor were any heavy metals present. She also added that the samples examined so far exclude the possibility of the presence of radioactive isotopes in the water. They are testing for levels of dioxin as well. 

Moskwa said the government is looking to create a modern system for monitoring surface waters to help warn authorities of issues in the future.

She stressed that Poland has implemented the EU directive on water, but the current situation shows that this is not sufficient to combat a crisis like what has occurred on the Oder. 

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