Ecological Impact of Major Industrial Chemical Accidents

  • A. A. Meharg
Part of the Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology book series (RECT, volume 138)


Accidents involving the release of chemicals into the environment have the potential to cause catastrophic ecological damage. This potential has been realized on a number of occasions, notably at Chernobyl, Ukraine (Muller and Prohl 1993), Bhopal, India (Singh and Ghosh 1987), Seveso, Italy (Fanelli et al. 1980), Sandoz, Switzerland (Guttinger and Stumm 1992), and the Exxon Valdez, Alaska oil spill (Shaw 1992). The ecological impact of all of these accidents differed enormously in scale, from Chernobyl polluting large tracts of Europe with 137Cs, 90Sr, and 131I (Muller and Prohl 1993), Sandoz polluting 200 km of the lower Rhine River with a pesticides mixture (Guttinger and Stumm 1992), the Exxon Valdez oil tanker contaminating Prince William Sound, Alaska, over a 750-km stretch (Shaw 1992), to Seveso and Bhopal contaminating areas of approximately 15 km2 with highly toxic chemicals (Fanelli et al. 1980; Singh and Ghosh 1987).


Ecological Impact Pollution Event Accidental Release Industrial Accident Fish Kill 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. A. Meharg
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Terrestrial EcologyHuntingdon, CambridgeshireUK

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