Long-term programme for pollution monitoring and research in the Mediterranean (MED POL) was adopted by the Mediterranean countries in 1981. Monitoring of the Mediterranean pollution in the framework of MED POL started in 1983 and at present 16 Mediterranean countries have on-going programmes and are submitting data. Through these programmes pollution is regularly monitored at hundreds of sampling stations. All national research centres involved in monitoring participate in the continuing programme of data quality control which includes intercalibration of sampling and analytical techniques.

By the end of 1991, over 400 research projects have been implemented in the framework of MED POL by 150 institutes from 15 Mediterranean countries. Results gathered through the research component of MED POL were presented at numerous scientific meetings and were published in a large number of scientific papers. Data generated through MED POL are used as the basis for the analysis of the present “state of the health” of the Mediterranean and of the trends in pollution levels. They also provide scientific information needed for the formulation of common measures to control pollution.

In-depth assessment studies, including concrete recommendations for measures to be taken by the Contracting Parties were completed for microbial pollution, mercury, cadmium, petroleum hydrocarbons, used lubricating oils, organotin compounds, organohalogen compounds, organophosphorus compounds, persistent synthetic materials, radioactive substances and pathogenic microorganisms. Similar assessment studies are being prepared on other subjects.

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