Shipping Dangerous Goods – How to Prevent a Disaster
Disasters at sea that are caused by shipping dangerous goods can be extremely harmful to marine life and to the eco-system. These disasters can sometimes take up to years to recover from. The Sri Lankan disaster from May of 2021 is a prime example of how damaging the leakage of dangerous goods at sea can be. In this disaster, one of the containers containing nitric acid, was not stored properly, which then caused a leak. A fire broke out aboard the Sri Lankan vessel, the X-Press Pearl, which then spewed dangerous goods, such as nitric acid, caustic soda, methane and sodium methoxide into the eco-system. Raw plastic materials that are typically used to create plastic bags were also spewed out into the environment. This was extremely hazardous for the surrounding marine wildlife and also the wildlife on the beaches. Many fish and other creatures were found dead, having ingested harmful materials. It is predicted that this disaster could take years to recover from. However, the shipping of dangerous goods doesn’t have to end in disaster and can be prevented.