UN experts warn of chemical disaster and water safety risk as conflict escalates in eastern Ukraine
Ukraine is facing new risks of chemical disaster and water safety after an escalation of conflict near water supply facilities in the east of the country, two UN Special Rapporteurs have warned.
“We are alarmed by recent reports of shelling around water installations containing chlorine gas and other extremely dangerous chemicals in Donetsk region,” said Baskut Tuncak, an expert on human rights and hazardous substances, and Leo Heller, whose mandate covers safe drinking water and sanitation.
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Chlorine gas, which can cause severe health impacts and death by asphyxiation, has been used as a chemical weapon, but is not specifically listed as controlled under the Convention on Chemical Weapons. However, the use of any toxic chemical as a weapon, including chlorine, is forbidden under the Chemical Weapons Convention.