eesti teaduste
akadeemia kirjastus
SINCE 1952
Proceeding cover
of the estonian academy of sciences
ISSN 1736-7530 (Electronic)
ISSN 1736-6046 (Print)
Impact Factor (2020): 1.045

Water contamination issues in Estonia: a review; pp. 304–316

Full article in PDF format | doi: 10.3176/proc.2016.3.10

Ott Roots, Tiit Lukki


This article deals with the analytical results of environmental monitoring and screening performed on the identification and sources of hazardous substances in the Estonian aquatic environment. The concentrations of hazardous substances have been studied at different sampling sites and matrices. A total of 130 hazardous substances from 12 groups of substances were investigated in the framework of the BaltActHaz project. The findings suggest that the status of the majority of Estonian surface water bodies is good: the concentrations of hazardous substances measured remained below the analytical detection limit in most of the samples analysed. The contents of only some phthalates, e.g. diisobutylphthalate, di-(2-ethylhexyl)-phthalate, and dimethylphtalate, exceeded the analytical detection limit. Mono- and dibutyltin and benzene were found from some water samples in rivers. However, the content of some heavy metals as well as mono- and dibasic phenols in the surface water/wastewater can still reach delicate levels, in particular in the Estonian oil shale region. The concentrations of organotin compounds are high in the areas of ports and shipyards. The assessment of the water contamination by hazardous substances indicates the relevance of the continuation of the monitoring due to its crucial role for an appropriate decision-making in the protection of the aquatic environment of Estonia. Continued monitoring is necessary to mitigate the exposure and to protect the living resources.


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