Dirty waters

Published: Friday 31 July 1998

an israeli ship Aribelwas recently intercepted while pumping toxic wastes into international waters off Haifa, Israel. The dumped material is very acidic and contains heavy metals such as zinc, cadmium and mercury. The environmental pressure group, Greenpeace, has appealed to the government of Israel to stop regular dumping of toxic sludge in the Mediterranean Sea in line with the spirit of the "Year of the Oceans". Government officials have twice promised to stop the dumping. However, the permit was renewed just when it was about to expire.

Israeli minister of environment Rafael Eitan allowed the us -owned company Haifa Chemicals to dump another 60,000 tonnes of toxic sludge in the Mediterranean until October 1998.

Tests carried out by the Greenpeace International laboratory at Exeter University, uk, prove that the samples taken from the Aribel contain toxic chemicals such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, benzenes and halogenated alkanes. Dumping of such materials is causing serious pollution in the seas and affecting the marine ecosystems.

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