Cyprus, Nicosia

Environmentalists Report: Nearly 90% of the Mediterranean Contaminated with Toxic Metals and Plastics

10.07.2024 / 14:25

In observance of International Mediterranean Day, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has released a report titled "No Health in a Sick Environment." According to the report, a staggering 87 percent of the Mediterranean Sea is contaminated with toxic metals, chemicals, and plastic waste.

The report reveals that the Mediterranean holds one of the highest levels of microplastics ever recorded in marine environments.

It underscores that this pollution extends beyond the sea, affecting freshwater resources, air, and soil throughout the region.

Over the past 20 years, mortality rates from factors such as air pollution and toxic chemicals have surged by 66%, now causing 9 million deaths annually.

The report indicates that around 87% of the Mediterranean is tainted with toxic metals, chemicals, and plastic waste.

Additionally, the pollution problem is pervasive, affecting seas, rivers, and lakes with pesticides, agricultural nutrients, heavy metals, and untreated industrial waste. This includes dangerous substances like perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), known as "forever chemicals," and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), which accumulate in the environment and pose severe health risks.

The report highlights that 13% of rivers and 11% of lakes in Italy are in poor condition, with 75% to 96% of European seas experiencing significant pollution issues.

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