Ship Breaking and Contamination - Hazards and Solutions
Every year an estimated 1,000 obsolete ships have to be recycled as they are not economically viable anymore for their owners. These end-of-life ships contain toxic materials such as asbestos, lead, mercury, PCBs and oil residues to name just a few and in addition, the underside of many ships have been painted with an ant-fouling paint called Tributyltin which is a highly toxic bioside. Over the years many ships have been sunk in Canadian waters with the hazardous materials not fully removed and many other ships have been sold to substandard ship breaking facilities where ships are dismantled directly on tidal beaches with little to no protection for workers or environment.
The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, has banned the installation of asbestos products into new vessels since January 1, 2011.
Asbestos (and other hazardous products) detected on board the existing ship must now be listed within an ‘Inventory of Hazardous Materials’ to enable a safe environment for crew, passengers and visitors.
Ships built prior to 1 July, 2002, are allowed to have asbestos on board providing they have a management program. Those built after this date are subject to the ban on most new installations and should only have very limited amounts of asbestos on board.
Asbestos found on board ships in contravention of SOLAS must have it removed in compliance with regulators. If the ship has not had the asbestos removed after the three years, it must remain where it is until it has been removed.
Ship Recycling- If a ship is to be recycled, salvage strategies should be collaborative in their approach and dovetail effectively with hazardous materials abatement activates to avoid potential issues.
If you are in the preliminary stages of planning a vessel decommissioning or vessel recycling project call us to see how we can help. We recognize the value in early project participation and are available to assist our clients in developing collaborative decontamination strategies, programs and budgets that will guarantee the highest degree of success for each project.
Enviro-Vac provides safe, compliant and environmentally responsible solutions for removal of asbestos and other hazardous materials from ships, barges, and marine facilities.