Toxic nickel 'found in Finnish lake'

Nov 13, 2012
A public swimming area in a lake in Helsinki. Toxic levels of nickel have been found in a Finnish lake after waste water began to leak from a nearby mine, the government's environmetal agency said on Tuesday.

Toxic levels of nickel have been found in a Finnish lake after waste water began to leak from a nearby mine, the government's environmetal agency said on Tuesday.

"Measurements show that in the lake Kivijaervi, the concentrations of nickel are now exceeding the level regarded as harmful to organisms," the Finnish Environment Institute said in a statement.

Since water began flowing from a gypsum pond on November 4 at a nickel mine in Sotkamo, around 500 km north of Helsinki, 900 kg of nickel has leaked towards a nearby lake south of the plant.

In the north, around 220 kg of nickel has been discharged.

"In addition to the nickel issue, the rise of uranium concentrations in the water bodies is harmful to organisms, especially to some sensitive and algae," the institute said.

"So far the measured concentrations of uranium are not expected to have any immediate consequences for ."

The operator of the mine, Talvivaara, has stopped production and has put dams in place around the affected area to contain the environmetal damage, as it tries to plug the leak.

The police said on Monday that they had opened an enquiry into the incident.

In the first nine months of the year the mine produced 10.598 tonnes of nickel and 21.760 tonnes of zinc.

Explore further: Hidden costs: The unseen way organisms cope with climate change

Related Stories

Green chemistry: Getting nickel back

Jul 07, 2011

In Southeast Asia, palm oil is used both as an ingredient for cooking and a raw material for biodiesel production. To stabilize the oil against decomposition, it has to be hydrogenated in the presence of a ...

Toxic spill from China copper mine spreads

Jul 20, 2010

A toxic pollution spill from a mine operated by China's top gold producer Zijin Mining Group has spread to a second province, threatening the fishing industry there, state media said Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Drought damage leads to widespread forest death

5 hours ago

The 2000-2003 drought in the American southwest triggered a widespread die-off of forests around the region. A Carnegie-led team of scientists developed a new modeling tool to explain how and where trembling ...

Good luck and the Chinese reverse global forest loss

5 hours ago

Analysis of 20 years of satellite data has revealed the total amount of vegetation globally has increased by almost 4 billion tonnes of carbon since 2003. This is despite ongoing large-scale deforestation ...

Technology set to revolutionise global aerosol industry

6 hours ago

Technology developed by a specialist research team at the University of Salford looks set to revolutionise the global aerosol industry, following agreements to run commercial trials of the technology by some ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.