Toxic gases in shipping containers

Supplier: Nordiko Quarantine Systems By: Wil Grullemans
18 October, 2013

Toxic gases within shipping containers pose dangers for the health of dockworkers and container unloaders.

Residual chemicals like Methyl bromide and other gases are colourless, odourless and dissipate rapidly into the atmosphere. Not only are these gases dangerous at the fumigation site but also to those unloading shipping containers.

A recent study by Professor Xaver Baur analysed the gas inside 2,113 containers imported into the Port of Hamburg. The study revealed that some 70% of containers imported into the port were contaminated with toxic chemicals above chronic reference exposure levels and 36% even exceeded the higher acute reference exposure level thresholds.

Where methyl bromide is specifically concerned, traces were discovered in 294 (14%) of the tested containers, some of which exhibited extremely dangerous levels of the fumigant.

It is also recognised that contaminated containers came from all over the globe,and may contain any variety of commodity. Baur showed that these containers could contain anything from electrical goods to furniture or shoes and took samples of containers that originated in Asia, Europe, African, America and more.

A graphical representation of these findings is shown. The findings indicate a serious concern for the health of dockworkers and container unloaders.

Nordiko Quarantine Systems provide solutions for ventilating containers to ensure there are no unsafe gases remaining inside the container.