On 1 November 1986 a fire at a Sandoz warehouse resulted in a massive input of chemicals to the atmosphere, Rhine River and surrounding soils. The wave of chemicals in the river, predominately Disulfoton and Thiometon, was monitored as it traveled to the North Sea. This chemical wave resulted in the death of benthic organisms and fish, especially eels. From the measured and estimated concentrations, Etrimfos, Endosulfan and Formothion were probably the lethal chemicals. The measured water concentrations from the period directly following the accident suggest that some of the chemicals were lost from the main wave before it reached the North Sea. Based on the physical, chemical and biological properties of the pesticides and the hydraulic characteristics of the Rhine, the fate and transport of the chemicals have been modeled. It is predicted that most were quickly flushed from the river. The exceptions are the mercury compounds and possibly Endosulfan. Other than these there should be no residual of the chemicals in the water, sediment or biota.
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- The Sandoz/Rhine Accident
P. D. Capel
- Springer Netherlands
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