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Chemical company BASF in Ludwigshafen: “A threat to aquatic organisms cannot be ruled out”

Photo: Uwe Anspach / dpa

The chemical company BASF once again released pollutants into the environment: around two tons of sulfuric acid flowed from the canal system in Ludwigshafen into the Rhine on Wednesday afternoon.

The company said the incident occurred between 1:40 p.m. and 3:15 p.m.

The exit from production has now stopped.

It is not yet possible to predict what consequences the incident will have on the environment.

"Due to the amount released, a risk to aquatic organisms cannot be ruled out over the duration of the emission in the area surrounding the release area," the statement said.

However, there is no further threat to aquatic organisms due to the dilution in the Rhine.

The cause of the sulfuric acid leak is still being investigated.

The chemical company also informed the responsible authorities.

The Environment Ministry of Rhineland-Palatinate has informed Rhine residents as a precautionary measure.

Chemical can cause severe skin burns and serious eye damage

Sulfuric acid is classified as a slightly water-polluting substance.

The chemical can cause severe skin burns and serious eye damage.

It is not the first time that the company's chemicals have leaked into the Rhine.

In November 2021, within a few days, first the herbicide metazachlor and later the chemical hexamethylenediamine flowed into the river.

In the second case, the water police were deployed.

When the cargo of a motor tanker was being handled, around one hundred liters of hexamethylene diamine flowed into the Rhine.

A technical defect on board the tanker was identified as the suspected cause of the incident.

The public prosecutor's office and the police had begun investigations into water contamination.

And the ailing chemical company can hardly attract attention with positive headlines at the moment.

Last week, BASF announced further cost-cutting measures at its headquarters in Ludwigshafen in order to improve competitiveness.

The intention is to save an additional one billion euros in costs there by 2026 – including job cuts.