Oceangoing Cargo Ships Safety & Operational Matters
Home || Tanker Safety || Container Ship Handling || Commercial Management || EMS ||

Health hazards of using Asbestos and countermeasures

Asbestos and asbestos products classified as Dangerous Goods (and subject to the IMDG Code) include raw asbestos, treated asbestos still in the form of free fibers and any product from which fibers might escape.

The use of asbestos and or certain asbestos products is banned in many parts of the world. The United For example, the Kingdom banned the importation, supply, and use of all forms of asbestos or asbestos containing materials in November 2006 and other countries have similar regulations although it is apparent that such regulations are not necessarily being enforced.

containerships operational matters
Oil Tanker Safety Guide
Asbestos is IMDG Class 9, U.N.2212 (blue and brown asbestos), or 2590 (white asbestos). There are three main types:
  1. Blue asbestos (crocidolite), straight, flexible fibers, lavender grey to bluish-green in color.
  2. Brown asbestos (amosite, mysorite), straight, brittle fibers, light grey to pale brown.
  3. White asbestos (chrysotile, actinolite, anthophyllite, tremolite), fine, silky, flexible fibres, white to grey/green in colour.

Blue asbestos is acknowledged as being the most dangerous, while white asbestos is the commonest type. However, exposure to any asbestos dust by inhalation is hazardous and must be avoided completely. Asbestos must not be handled without suitable respiratory apparatus and protective clothing. Asbestos must be stowed clear of living quarters and away from all foodstuffs.

All types of asbestos should be packed in impermeable bags, and unitized loads should be further securely enclosed in a cover of impermeable material. Hooks and other sharp equipment must not be used. Damaged bags must be over-slipped immediately with similar impermeable bags and securely sealed. Spilled material must be collected and handled following local regulations and always with suitable respiratory apparatus and protective clothing.

Before stuffing a container with asbestos, all projections inside the container must be removed or adequately shielded to avoid damage to the bags while in transit. Containers and cargo spaces that have contained asbestos must be thoroughly cleaned following discharge. They should be considered as contaminated (and thus requiring the use of respiratory equipment and protective clothing) until the cleaning has been completed.

Asbestos cement : IMDG Class 9. Cement mixed with 1015% asbestos fibers and generally banned now but may still be found in some parts of the world. Treat as Asbestos, which see.

Asbestos pipes/tiles/sheet: Manufactured from asbestos cement and generally banned now but may still be found in some parts of the world. Very brittle and susceptible to damage. Not normally considered as Dangerous Goods.

Hazards of Asbestos and countermeasures

Asbestos dust can cause lung disease or lung cancer. At some point, carrying out repairs may be liable to create asbestos dust, below precaution to be taken into consideration :
  1. where possible, any work involved which might generate asbestos dust in the atmosphere should be left until the the ship is in port, and proper facilities and equipment can be utilized.
  2. If it is essential for such work to be carried out, every precaution should be taken to generate as little asbestos dust as possible.
  3. Access to areas where work is taking place should be limited to the personnel involved
  4. where practical, working area should be closed off, ie, with plastic sheeting and signs
  5. respiratory protective equipment approved for the purpose should be used.

Related articles

Environmental management system

Environmental management program

How to protect marine environment

How to report environmental issues

Marine Environmental protection-Responsibilities for shore office

Environmental protection-training and awareness for ship crew

Environmental training for shore staff

Environmental awareness

Related guideline

  1. Efficient cooking guideline for chief cook - five things to remember

  2. Different cooking method for ship use

  3. Catering for a multicultural crew

  4. Catering for galley staff - garbage management

  5. Environmental aspects - various safety matters

  6. Action to be taken if drugs are found onboard

Other info pages !

Ships Charterparties Related terms & guideline
Stevedores injury How to prevent injury onboard
Environmental issues How to prevent marine pollution
Cargo & Ballast Handling Safety Guideline
Reefer cargo handling Troubleshoot and countermeasures
DG cargo handling Procedures & Guidelines
Safety in engine room Standard procedures
Questions from user and feedback Read our knowledgebase
Home page

ShipsBusiness.com is merely an informational site about various aspects of ships operation,maintenance procedure, prevention of pollution and many safety guideline. The procedures explained here are only indicative, not exhaustive in nature and one must always be guided by practices of good seamanship.

User feedback is important to update our database. For any comment or suggestions please Contact us
Site Use and Privacy - Read our privacy policy and site use information.
//Home //Terms and conditions of use

Copyright © 2015 www.shipsbusiness.com All rights reserved.