Difference between revisions of "Green Ships"
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== '''Toxins: Health and Environmental Concerns''' ==
== '''Toxins: Health and Environmental Concerns''' ==
Tributyltin (TBT) is a highly toxic used in the anti-fouling paints applied to the hulls of ships. “Fouling” is the attachment of marine organisms to ship hulls. TBT, which made its first appearance in anti-fouling paints in the 1950’s, presents a danger to both marine life and to humans. Its basic substance, tin, replaced copper, which was a additive. Effective for a longer time period than copper due to its slow degradation in water, tin makes for a more durable paint, but is also more poisonous.<ref name="">Gipperth, L. (2009). The legal design of the international and European Union ban on tributyltin antifouling paint: Direct and indirect effects. ''Journal of Environmental Management,'' 90, S86-S95.</ref>
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=== Polychlorinated Biphenyl's (PCB) ===
=== Polychlorinated Biphenyl's (PCB) ===
Polychlorinated () pose a threat to human health, both while in use and during their disposal process. in components, cables, vent ducts,gaskets, insulation materials, adhesives, paint, and various rubber and plastic components, <ref name="dodds"/>
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=== Lead ===
=== Lead ===
Lead poses a severe health risk to humans. Despite its known dangers, it continues to be used in the manufacture of vessels. Lead "is
Lead poses a severe health risk to humans. Despite its known dangers, it continues to be used in the manufacture of vessels. Lead "is found in batteries, of motors, generators, piping, and cables."When ingested by children, lead can cause "learning difficulties,...[intellectual and developmental disability,] and delayed neurological and physical development. In adults, lead affects the nervous system, impairing hearing, vision, and muscle coordination."<ref name="dodds"/>
=== Bilge Water ===
=== Bilge Water ===
Bilge water is an oily waste of liquids and toxic substances that
Bilge water is an oily waste of liquids and toxic substances that in the bottom of a ship’s hull. It may contain , cargo residues, inorganic salts, arsenic, copper, chromium, lead, and mercury.""pooled rainwater and cooling and containment water during the into the ocean .<ref name="dodds"/>
=== Asbestos ===
=== Asbestos ===
Asbestos, a historically popular building material, also presents a human health hazard. Despite increased restrictions on new ships, the insulation of old ships often contains asbestos. Inhalation of these fibers is associated with both lung disease and multiple kinds of cancer.
Asbestos, a historically popular building material, also presents a human health hazard. Despite increased restrictions on new ships, the insulation of old ships often contains asbestos. Inhalation of these fibers is associated with both lung disease and multiple kinds of cancer. In fact, "asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma, a cancer of the lungs, chest cavity, and abdomen."<ref name="dodds"/>
Revision as of 22:12, 28 August 2015
BELOW INTRO TEXT COPIED FROM WIKIPEDIA Ship breaking or ship demolition is a type of ship disposal involving the breaking up of ships for scrap recycling. Other names given to the activity of breaking ship into smaller pieces to recycle various materials include ship dismantling, ship cracking, ship recycling, ship disposal, etc. Most ships have a lifespan of a few decades before there is so much wear that refitting and repair become uneconomical. Ship breaking allows materials from the ship, especially steel, to be recycled. Equipment on board the vessel can also be reused.
As an alternative to ship breaking, ships are also sunk to make artificial reefs after being cleaned up. Other possibilities are floating (or land-based) storage.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Ship Recycling Methods
- 3 Toxins: Health and Environmental Concerns
- 4 Benefits of Ship Recycling
- 5 Occupational
- 6 Environmental
- 7 Ship breaking Regulations
- 8 Green Ship Countries
- 9 Alternative Solutions
- 10 References
Every year, hundreds of ships make their final voyage from the high seas to recycling yards where workers dismantle them for metal and other reusable components. These ships tend to have been deemed unsafe, their steel structures weakened by years of travel on the open ocean. Due to the high cost of repairs and modifications, ship owners often decide to recycle ships after about 20 years. Finding cargo for ships of this age would prove extremely difficult, as cargo-booked ships over 20 years old struggle to qualify for insurance coverage. Asia hosts the majority of the world’s ship recyclers; together, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and China recycle "approximately 89% of light-displacement tons scrapped worldwide." This ship-recycling hub exists in large part due to the absence of the kind of stringent environmental, occupational safety, and health regulations found in the European Union and the United States. Consequently, American and European ship-recycling facilities have difficulty competing with their Asian rivals. While ship recyclers have the opportunity to recover valuable materials, they must also deal with the toxic substances present in ships. Without proper treatment, ship toxins can endanger workers, local communities, and the environment.
Ship Recycling Methods
Introduction to Shipbreaking
Shipbreaking is a method of ship disposal in which ships are disassembled for parts. This process is also known as ship demolition, ship dismantling, ship cracking, ship recycling, and ship disposal. Other disposal methods include sinking ships to form artificial reefs or storing them (either on land or in the water).
Many companies send ships to be recycled in developing countries of South Asia. In India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, bi-monthly extreme high tides allow these ships to be sailed onto beaches at full speed. Once the tide goes out, workers can begin to disassemble the beached vessels. Many environmental and safety issues arise with this method of retiring ships (see Occupational Hazards and Toxins). While no international laws regulate how ships must be prepared for shipbreaking, international treaties – if enforced – would limit the toxins allowed on beached ships.
A safer and cleaner alternative to beaching ships can be found in dry-dock ship recycling. Dry docks are massive structures on which ships are decontaminated before being taken apart. Several nations, including China, the United States, and sometimes India, have dry-dock facilities. Unfortunately, this option is currently very expensive; one vessel might cost up to $800,000 to dry-dock and dismantle. Nevertheless, dry-docking remains the most environmentally and socially sound recycling alternative to beach shipbreaking. For information about alternatives to ship recycling and specific ship recycling processes, see Green Ships: Alternative Solutions.
Toxins: Health and Environmental Concerns
Ships contain many toxins that enter the environment and endanger human health during the shipbreaking process. The most common are tributyltin (TBT), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), lead, bilge water, and asbestos. Other dangerous substances aboard include mercury, radioactive materials, oil and fuel, ballast water, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and batteries.
Tributyltin (TBT) is a highly toxic chemical used in the anti-fouling paints applied to the hulls of ships. “Fouling” is the attachment of marine organisms to ship hulls. TBT, which made its first appearance in anti-fouling paints in the 1950’s, presents a danger to both marine life and to humans. Its basic substance, tin, replaced copper, which was previously a common additive. Effective for a longer time period than copper due to its slow degradation in water, tin makes for a more durable paint, but is also more poisonous.
TBT is intended to poison organisms that live on ship hulls (i.e. barnacles, shellfish, algae, bacteria, and tube worms).It goes beyond this, though, impacting a wide spread of marine life. As an endocrine disrupting chemical, even low concentrations can cause reproductive dysfunction in aquatic organisms like mussels and oysters.Furthermore, TBT builds up in the tissues of sea mammals like seals and whales, and it leads to sterility and sometimes death in invertebrates. (Gipperth) Shipyards and harbors are hotspots for TBT pollution, and the marine life in these places suffers.
Furthermore, TBT poses a potential health threat to shipyard workers and their communities. Anti-fouling paint that has been scraped off of beached ships ends up in the water and soil, and the melting of steel from ships adds TBT to the air.More research is needed into the human health consequences of eating seafood tainted with TBT, but it is known that organotins like TBT act as endocrine disruptors in humans.
The hazards of TBT have prompted many countries to ban TBT-based antifouling paint. In 2001, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted the Antifouling Systems (AFS) Convention. The Convention entered into force in 2008, calling for a global halt to the application and presence of TBT-based antifouling paints on ships.
While these bans aim to remedy harms caused by TBT, they leave a few issues unresolved. TBT remains in sediment for a long time (with a half life of 1 to 9 years in sediment), meaning that it continues to affect places for years after it is banned. Another problem is that banning TBT results in a surge of TBT-based waste. This waste then ends up in shipyards. Finally, a number of countries continue to allow organotin compounds (including TBT) because they lack strict national or regional legislation.
At this point, no anti-fouling paint has unequivocally replaced TBT-based antifouling paint.
Polychlorinated Biphenyl's (PCB)
Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) are “synthetic organic chemicals”that pose a threat to human health, both while in use and during their disposal process. Historically, they were used in “electrical components, cables, vent ducts,…miscellaneous gaskets, insulation materials, adhesives, paint, and various rubber and plastic components.”Although the manufacture of PCBs was banned in 1979, PCBs remain a common toxin in old ships.
Exposure to PCB’s has been linked with a variety of health problems in animals and humans. According to the U.S. EPA, PCBs cause cancer in animals as well as disorders of the immune system, reproductive system, nervous system, and endocrine system(EPA). The EPA, along with several other agencies, has also identified PCBs as “probable human carcinogens.”As with TBT, PCBs endanger human health both through direct contact and through ingestion of contaminated marine life. Fish and marine animals high up in the food chain accumulate high concentrations of PCBs in their flesh, and the people who eat these animals face serious health risks.
PCBs persist in the environment and consequently require special care in their disposal. Workers must be trained to handle PCBs, and the chemical either must be safely burned or stored in secure landfills. Unfortunately, current international treaties have not yet succeeded in ensuring that this occurs. In large part, this is due to the failure of some countries (most notably, the United States) to ratify the agreements (see Treaties and International Agreements) and to the lack of a “formal policing mechanism” in many of the agreements.
Lead poses a severe health risk to humans. Despite its known dangers, it continues to be used in the manufacture of vessels. Lead "is commonly found in batteries, paints…components of motors, generators, piping, and cables."When ingested by children, lead can cause "learning difficulties,...[intellectual and developmental disability,] and delayed neurological and physical development. In adults, lead affects the nervous system, impairing hearing, vision, and muscle coordination."
Bilge water is an oily waste of liquids and toxic substances that gathers in the bottom of a ship’s hull. It may contain “oil, cargo residues, inorganic salts, arsenic, copper, chromium, lead, and mercury.” The pooled rainwater and cooling and containment water present in ships during ship breaking adds to the quantity of bilge water. This water ends up spilling into the ocean where it reduces environmental quality.
Asbestos, a historically popular building material, also presents a human health hazard. Despite increased restrictions on new ships, the insulation of old ships often contains asbestos. Inhalation of these fibers is associated with both lung disease and multiple kinds of cancer. In fact, "asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma, a cancer of the lungs, chest cavity, and abdomen." Shipyard workers often develop asbestosis, a lung disease caused by asbestos. In order to safely handle asbestos-containing materials, workers must wear highly protective clothing, including respirators and face masks.In many shipbreaking yards, workers do not take these kinds of precaution.
Benefits of Ship Recycling
The ship recycling industry provides shipbreaking countries with jobs and also large quantities of valuable materials which can be sold at bargain prices. Making up 95% of a ship’s hull, steel is the most plentiful recycled material. Producing steel with recycled rather than raw materials saves energy, and this recycled steel can then be used for construction. Bangladesh depends on old ships for its steel supply, and shipbreaking in India alone produces 2.5 million tons of scrap steel every year. Old ship parts ranging from engines to air conditioners are also highly desirable.
In addition to supporting the economy with commodities, shipbreaking also provides a huge number of jobs. In India, about 1 million people work in the shipbreaking industry. Bangladesh and Pakistan also have large shipyard workforces. Unfortunately, these jobs are highly dangerous. See the section on occupational hazards for more information on life in the shipbreaking industry.
- See also Green Ships: Green Ship Countries
Unfortunately, ship-breaking sites often concern themselves more with the profitability of the steel and ship parts than with the safety of the ship-breaking process. Subsequently, occupational safety and health issues emerge—particularly in association with the dismantling of beached ships in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. These issues include exposure to harmful toxins, the danger of heavy, falling parts, and the difficulty of using dangerous tools. Ship-recycling "workers in these countries do not wear protective equipment such as helmets, masks, or goggles"; sites do not post danger signs. In addition to the lack of safety equipment, there is no training to educate workers about the potential harms involved with ship-breaking operations (Alang, India). The majority of workers have no training in using blowtorches or in handling the hazardous substances involved in ship recycling. For that reason, it is not uncommon for them to suffer major accidents. Moreover, workers risk inhaling noxious substances throughout the ship-breaking process. "Toxic fumes are released during the blowtorch-cutting process, and afterward while the paint and coatings may continue to smolder." The use in ship breaking in developing countries is especially harmful in terms of child labor laws due to lack of guidelines in Bangladesh.
Many ships contain hazardous substances that can cause harm to the environment. Carcinogenic and toxic substances such as "Polychlorinated Biphenyls ("PCBs"), asbestos, tributanlytin ("TBT"), lead, oil, and bilge water" are often released directly into the ocean.
Delete after section about TBT is clarified Though the use of TBT base anti-fouling paints have long been banned, the lingering effects of TBT are vry dangerous. Sediment contamination still in effect and endangers marine and estuarine quality of environment. Many studies have discovered an existence of TBT in commonly used waterways and a large presence of TBT in the sediment near ports. Typically, navigation channels show low levels of TBT compared to sediments in harbor locations, specifically close to dockyards. The use of TBT was to discourage the adhesion of marine life to the ship's hull, suggestively to preserve the lifetime of the marine organisms. Marine biofouling defined as undesirable accumulation of marine organisms on solid surfaces, i.e. ships hull or mechanical equipment, immersed in seawater. No matter the reasoning behind the application of TBT, the lasting effects, regardless of how minimal, are gravely destructive to the environment. Extremely low concentrations of TBT still greatly affect marine organisms. 1ng of TBT cause imposex and intersex on snails. In order to control the exposure of TBT within the sediment and during the ship-breaking process, many different environmentally safe processes will need to be invoked. In ports, TBT is released to marine environment via ship hulls and only measure to prevent is replace with environmental friendly antifouling systems. Although, little or no reduction of TBT concentrations were seen in sediments even after several years after TBT prohibition.
Ship breaking Regulations
Further information: Current Ship Breaking Regulations
Green Ship Countries
Further information: Countries
Further information: Proposed Green Ship Recycling Options
- Dodds, D. (2007). Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Environmental Effects of Shipwrecking and Possible Solutions Under India’s Environmental Regime. 20 Pac. McGeorge Global Bus. and Dev. L.J., 207, 208-236.
- Chang, Y., N. Wang & O.S. Durak. (2010). Ship recycling and marine pollution. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 60, 1390-1396.
- 20 Penn St. Int'l L. Rev. 535 2001-2002
- Galley, M. (2014). Shipbreaking: Hazards and liabilities. Springer: Springer International Publishing Switzerland. eBook.
- Gipperth, L. (2009). The legal design of the international and European Union ban on tributyltin antifouling paint: Direct and indirect effects. Journal of Environmental Management, 90, S86-S95.
- Kim, N.S., W.J. Shim, U.H. Yim, S.Y. Ha, & P.S. Park. (2008). Assessment of tributyltin contaminatin in a shipyard area using a mussel transplantation approach. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 57, 883-888.
- Stichnothe, H., W. Calmano, E. Arevalo, A. Keller & J. Thöming. (2005). TBT-contaminated Sediments: Treatment in a Pilot Scale. Journal of Soils and Sediments, 5(1), 21-29.
- Hossain, Md.M., & M.M. Islam. (2006). Ship Breaking Activities and its Impact on the Coastal Zone of Chittagong, Bangladesh: Towards Sustainable Management. Young Power in Social Action (YPSA), Chittagong, Bangladesh. pp ix +54.
- Kotrikla, A. (2009). Environmental management aspects for TBT antifouling wastes from the shipyards. Journal of Environmental Management, 90, S77-S85.
- EPA. (2015) Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/.
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