In connection with installation of two natural gas pipelines through the Baltic Sea between Russia and Germany, there has been concern regarding potential re-suspension of historically dumped chemical warfare agents (CWA) in a nearby dump site and the potential environmental risks associated. 192 sediment and 11 porewater samples were analyzed for CWA residues, both parent and metabolites in 2008 and 2010 along the pipeline corridor next to the dump site. Macrozoobenthos and background variables were also collected and compared to the observed CWA levels and predicted potential risks. Detection frequencies and levels of intact CWA found were low, whereas CWA metabolites were more frequently found. Re-suspension of CWA residue-containing sediment from installation of the pipelines contributes marginally to the overall background CWA residue exposure and risk along the pipeline route. The multivariate weight-of-evidence analysis showed that physical and background parameters of the sediment were of higher importance for the biota than observed CWA levels. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
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