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Ports at high risk of chemical spills

Wherever there is a high concentration of chemicals, it is all the more important to have comprehensive spill control procedures in place. This includes sites that are dedicated to the transport and logistics of chemicals that could have hazardous effects should they be the subject of a leak.

Ports are particularly vulnerable to leaks, partly because of the amount of chemicals of all kinds that pass in and out of ports on a daily basis. However, they are also high risk because of their proximity to water which increases the potential ill-effects of a spill.

The Port of Tacoma in Washington State in the US was recently obliged to close an entire terminal because of a chemical spill from a container from a ship on its way to Seattle from South Korea. The chemical that was found to have leaked was identified as chlorobenzotrifluoride which is highly flammable and can cause irritation of the respiratory system, skin and eyes.

A chemical spill kit was doubtless central to the clean-up operation which saw environmental workers on the scene as soon as the leak was discovered. Chlorobenzotrifluoride is a chemical that is widely used in the printing industry.

Previous article Understanding Requirements for Hazardous Substances: Prevention, Storage, and Clean Up

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