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International Shipping of Toxic Chemicals

Jul 26, 2008
Modern science has provided the world with many beneficial elements and technology that has brought us into an age that our parents and grandparents dreamed of as fantasy and science fiction. It has also brought us dangerous chemicals and weapons of mass destruction that can be used for good or evil purposes. Toxic chemicals are a good example of one of the contributions of science that either help or endanger humanity. For that reason, international shipping of toxic chemicals is strictly regulated and permits to do it are only issued to a select group of international shipping companies.

Pesticides are toxic chemicals that need to be shipped in a concentrated form and then mixed or diluted when they arrive at their commercial or retail distribution point. International shipping of pesticides is strictly monitored by environmental protection groups in multiple countries and by a special division of the United Nations. The chemicals used to create pesticides, organochlorides and organophosphates, are the same elements used in chemical weapons such as mustard and VX gases. Due to terrorist activity throughout the world, pesticides are guarded very closely and international shipping companies employ heavy security when handling them.

Propane, crude oil and natural gas are toxic chemicals that are necessary for heating, gasoline for your car, and the manufacture of petroleum based products that include almost everything you buy in retail stores in America and European nations. The world's dependence on oil has made the international shipping industry the billion dollar industry that it is today. Massive tankers travel every ocean in the world and bring the precious black gold to destinations that would be dark and cold without it.

International shipping of oil and other toxic liquids and chemicals is normally done by tankers that are owned by the company that produces the chemical. When they are delivered to their destination port they are transferred into secure trucks and transported across country to their distribution point. The danger of these chemicals is best exhibited when one of these trucks crashes or rolls over. The area of the accident has to be cordoned off and hazmat teams are called in with masks and protective suits to determine the danger level and initiate the clean-up. If the cause of the incident is proven to be mechanical failure or driver error the company that owns the truck is held accountable. This makes international shipping of toxic chemicals a risky and dangerous proposition for any company.

The most well known example of toxic chemical international shipping gone bad is the grounding of the Exxon Valdez. This disaster was attributed to human error and caused millions of gallons of crude oil to be dumped into an environment that was once rich with wildlife. The effects of the Exxon Valdez disaster are still being felt today in the local ecosystem and by the international shipping companies that transport crude oil. Regulations and qualifying criteria to captain a tanker are now stricter and insurance policies are much harder to obtain.
About the Author
Nir Dotan is a writer and promoter of
International Shipping services, and
Omega Shipping Local as well as International Moving.
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