Contaminated Site: Vlora Mercury Hot Spot in Albania

This report focuses on an abandoned chlor-alkali and PVC plant in Vlora, Albania. The chlor-alkali industry produces chlorine gas and alkali (sodium hydroxide) by a process that applies electrolysis to saltwater. Some chlor-alkali plants use a mercury-cell process in which mercury is used as the electrolysis cath­ode. This occurred at the Vlora facility.

 

In the case of Vlora, the former chlor-alkali factory dumped directly into the Bay and was abandoned in 1992 leaving a grossly contaminated site. High levels of mercury were found in fish from Vlora bay. This report is part of global mercury monitoring project organized by IPEN in 2012/2013.

 

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