HELCOM is currently working on the development of the Baltic Sea Action Plan to be adopted by a Ministerial Meeting in Krakow in November 2007. The plan will include actions in four priority areas to be taken to achieve good ecological status. One of the priority areas is the pollution by hazardous substances. The work has been started by identifying a number of priority hazardous substances selected as a starting point as well as by looking into possible actions/measures for these selected hazardous substances to be taken to minimize/eliminate the pressure on the Baltic Sea.

At the same time it is considered important to look into the discharges/emissions and losses of heavy metals (cadmium and mercury) and dioxins from specific sectors, being potentially large emitters.

The work under the project included two tasks to be carried out in parallel in targeted countries (Russia, Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia):

· the first task relates to the identifications of actions/measures with respect to the selected substances and possible additional toxics based on experiences on whole effluent assessments (WEA)

· and the second task relates to the identification of actions/measures with respect to the reduction of dioxin, mercury and cadmium pollution.

Selected substances:

1. Organic substances:

  • Dioxins (PCDD), furans (PCDF) & dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (dilPCB);
  • Tributyltin compounds (TBT) and Triphenyltin compounds (TPhT); 
  • Pentabromodiphenyl ether (pentaBDPE), Octabromodiphenyl ether (octaBDPE) and Decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDPE);
  • Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
  • Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD);
  • Nonylphenols (NP) and Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE);
  • Octylphenols (OP) and Octylphenol ethoxylates (OPE);
  • Short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCP or chloroalkanes, C10-13) and Medium-chain chlorinated paraffins (MCCP or chloroalkanes, C14-17).

2. Endosulfan.

  • Heavy metals: Mercury, Cadmium, Lead, Chromium, Copper


The deliverable of the project was written report with a list of proposed actions at international and national level and the relevant background information for the choice of these actions, as well as the requested information as mentioned above.

The work started in February 2007 under the consortium lead by BEF Latvia and consisting from BEF Germany, BEF Estonia, BEF Lithuania, CTC St. Petersburg/BEF Russia, Eko Net, Poland, Ökopol, Germany and Hendrikson & Ko, Estonia.

Major actions:

screening of available information, site visits to selected industrial companies, elaboration of the actions/measures to be integrated into BSAP.

Project report was finalised by August 2007 in order to be negotiated and later on included into the Baltic Sea Action Plan.

Project term:

1 January 2007 – 31 December 2007