Abandoned pipelines pose threat of releasing toxins into North Sea, scientists issue warning

Neglected oil and gas pipelines deteriorating in the North Sea pose a potential hazard, as they may discharge significant amounts of hazardous substances such as mercury, radioactive lead, and polonium-210, infamous for its role in the poisoning of Russian defector Alexander Litvinenko, caution scientists.

Methylmercury, the most toxic form of the metal, is emitted by these pipelines, with other forms potentially converting into it. The Minamata Convention on Mercury internationally warns that elevated mercury levels in marine mammals like dolphins, whales, and seals can lead to “reproductive failure, behavioural changes, and even death.” Seabirds and large predatory fish, such as tuna and swordfish, are also particularly at risk.

News article on 24 February 2024 by Apoorna Sharma from wionews.com


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