Monitoring of some major volatile organic compounds on board of chemical tankers

13 November 2019

Jacobs, W., Dubois, D., Aerts, D., Declerck, P., Stranger, M., Buczynska, A., Godoi, A., Van Grieken, R.

Journal of Maritime Research, 2010, VII(2), 3-20.

Nowadays, chemical tankers are transporting a wide variety of chemical products. These products have different characteristics, and some are toxic. In literature several studies suggest an increased incidence of various forms of cancer for crew members on tankers. Most of these studies are based on medical statistics, rather than on effective measurements on board. The aim of this study is to monitor the average concentrations of toxic vapours on board of chemical tankers. Therefore we went on board of two chemical tankers for a 14-day trip and performed measurements during the normal operation of the vessel, in order to find out whether cargo vapours are traceable in the atmosphere in and around the vessel. The concentrations measured clearly show that there is a relationship between the cargoes transported and the concentration of the cargo vapour in the atmosphere in and around the vessel. The results further show an elevated concentration of the analyzed substances in the engine room and an important influence of the relative wind direction. Tank vents situated in the gas-safe zone influenced the results as well.