Toxic substances still unknown in Oder River

Toxic substances still unknown in Oder River

WARSAW: Poison can't be ruled out as the cause of a mass die-off of fish in the Oder River, but tests so far have not proven toxic substances are to blame, according to Polish Environment Minister Anna Moskwa, who said since July 14 Tonnes of dead fish have been found in the Oder River, which runs through Germany and Poland. Both countries have said they believe a toxic substance is to blame, but have yet to identify what it is.

Moskwa said today that none of these water tests have confirmed the presence of toxic substances after meeting with her German counterpart and other German and Polish officials.

We are conducting tests on fish at the same time. We have completed fish tests for mercury and heavy metals. She added that neither mercury nor heavy metals were found in the collected samples.

Moskwa said samples are now being tested for the presence of pesticides and around 300 more substances will be checked for in the coming hours.

Moskwa said that we are interested in the prompt identification of the perpetrators because we are checking entities that run business and industrial activity along the river.

The mass die-off is a major environmental catastrophe and the waterway could take years to return to normal, according to the German and Polish governments.