Bratislava’s Istrochem is a chemical time bomb

Declassified report shows that the environmental pollution on its premises is close to an ecological disaster.

Istrochem back in 2002Istrochem back in 2002 (Source: TASR)

Once it used to be the most important chemical company in the Kingdom of Hungary. Today it is a ticking chemical time bomb, with the urgent need for a solution increasing after a 10-year old classified report on contamination was made public in early June.

“We have known about the contamination for a long time, but we did not know that it was to such a huge extent,” said Erik Baláž, environmentalist and vice-chairman of the non-parliamentary Spolu party at a press conference on June 4, at which they pointed out the report.

Related articleEnvironmentalists: Pollution in Bratislava nears ecological disaster Read more 

The results of the 10-year-old survey confirmed the massive contamination of groundwater and soil on the 150-ha premises of the Istrochem company with a wide range of organic and inorganic substances, for example atrazine, toluene, arsenic, lead, benzene and PCB. In the case of several substances, the limits were exceeded up to 1000 times. The contamination endangers inhabited areas and underground water linked to Žitný Ostrov (Rye Island), the biggest reservoir of drinking water in central Europe.

Spolu’s environmental experts claim that this contamination and the environmental burden is even bigger that the notorious toxic chemical dump in the Bratislava borough of Vrakuňa, the legacy of the same chemical company.

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