Survey finds DDT, other harmful substances in Emajõgi River

The Emajõgi River as seen in Tartu. Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

Several dangerous substances and chemical compounds, including DDT, which was banned in Estonia almost half a century ago, as well as high levels of various pesticides were detected in the water of the Emajõgi River in a recent survey, the Estonian Environment Agency said.

According to a report drawn up at the Environment Agency, the content of dangerous compounds in Emajõgi is cause for concern, spokespeople for the agency told BNS on Tuesday.

The survey revealed record levels of various pesticides in excess of limits prescribed by current regulations in the river water.

Among substances detected include the insecticide DDT, which has been banned in Estonia since the beginning of the 1970s, an increased content of agricultural nutrients downstream, and residues of painkillers and hormonal medicines.

Although the impact of these substances on the aquatic resources is not yet tangible, measures must be taken promptly to prevent the worst, the agency said.

The survey notes that the residents and businesses of Tartu and surrounding areas bear particular responsibility for the water quality as well as the preservation of the ecosystems of the Emajõgi River, which is the primary aquatic artery of Eastern Estonia.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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