Switzerland melting glaciers are releasing deadly toxins. Scientists have found persistent organic pollutants (POPs) like dioxins, PCBs and DDT in sediment at the bottom of the glacier-fed Lake Oberaar in central Switzerland. The chemicals are very stable, don’t decompose in the environment and many of the compounds then attach themselves to particles that are deposited in the environment and can be found in remote areas such as the Alps, the Arctic Circle or Antarctica, where they are condensed and stored in the ice.
The research dates back to 2003 when high levels of toxins in fish were found in alpine lakes. Toxin levels are now similar to those of the 1960s before many of these compounds were banned.
Melting glaciers release toxins
Blast from the past: melting glaciers as a Relevant Source for Persistent Organic Pollutants