Transport of hazardous chemicals has increased over the last 20 years. The risk of accidents have also been considerably high. More than 2000 chemicals are transported either in packaged form or in bulk. Out of these 200 chemicals, only few hundred chemicals are transported in bulk. There is available liquid bulk carrier in Canada which is used to carry oils and chemicals.
Chemical leakage is more harmful than oil leakage. Chemical may have both acute and long term effects on the environment. Oil spills are recoverable; but in case of chemicals it is not possible. About 15% of the world’s cargo moves through the Baltic Sea. It is one of the busiest routes in the world. Navigation in the Baltic Sea is very hard. It is shallow, has narrow navigation routes and there are ice covering the sea. If oil or chemical spills, then it will have a devastating effect on the ecosystem of the Baltic Sea. Now the volume of cargo transported across the Baltic Sea is even more. The spill risks of chemical spills are not that well defined like the oil spills and so chances of accidents are more.
We should learn from the consequences of past accidents. We should look into what kind of environmental and human threat these chemical spills posed. We should study the general rule, causes of such incidents and pattern of these incidents. This will help us take precautionary steps.
The degree of risk involving chemical spill depends on the type of accident and the environmental conditions. The nature of the chemical also affects the degree of risk. Accidents involving chemical spills can be of four types. Offshore accidents happen in the open sea area. In this type of accident the chemical spill has larger space to vaporize or dissolve, so the effect is greater. Accidents happen near the shoreline also. These accidents have disastrous effects. A third type of accident occurs in a closed sea area; for example, in a terminal or port. The fourth kind of accident happens during winter when the sea is covered with snow. Offshore accidents are difficult to handle. When the accidents happen near the shore line or in ports, help can be reached easily.
It is always wise to take all the safety measures before loading chemicals to the tanker. The chemicals must be monitored continuously throughout the voyage. All measures must be taken to avoid any kind of accidents due to chemical spillage.