Ship manufacturing and the maintenance and repair of commercial or military vessels is a major industry in certain parts of the country such as the Pacific Northwest and Norfolk, Virginia. Cleaning, stripping of old paint, and painting produce pollutants which contaminate air, water, and land. Coatings which are used on the hulls of ships contain heavy metals. Preparing the hull using a blasting dry abrasive grit prior to painting increases the particulate matter in the air, as well as the pollutants found in paint and other substances. The painting process releases a variety of VOCs. The toxic air pollutants released include xylene, toluene, chlorinated compounds, solvents, etc. from the painting and cleaning operations. Also, products aboard the ships may release vapors while in storage or when being transferred to other storage or transportation facilities.

Best Practices in Shipyards

  • • Replace sandblasting with high-pressure water blasting and blasting with wetted grit chemically treated to bind heavy metals.
  • • Use Teflon or silicone on the hull to prevent the growth of marine organisms.
  • • Use advanced vapor control system technologies to capture vapors from various products stored on the ships or being transferred from the ships.
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