Owners and operators of US-bound vessels affected by the Tianjin port explosions should assess their ship and cargo for potentially hazardous residues, the US Coast Guard (USCG) has warned.
In a safety bulletin published on 26 August, the Coast Guard noted that vessels affected by the Tianjin explosions are expected to call on US ports over the next several weeks.
While there have been no reports of vessels with hazardous debris onboard, the agency noted, “US companies are looking for reassurances regarding the health and safety of those who handle shipping containers across the supply chain.”
The Coast Guard said it is concerned that vessels potentially affected by the explosions – those currently in the Tianjin port complex, or those that loaded cargo there between 12 and 15 August – may have an increased risk of exposure to hazardous chemicals.
The agency advised reporting any suspected hazardous conditions, illnesses or unknown substances or residues to the nearest USCG Captain of the Port as soon as possible.
Criteria that owners should evaluate on impacted vessels include the location of the vessel or cargo within the port at the time of the explosion; whether or not any cargo bays, holds, or external doors were open; and whether crew members onboard have been experiencing any ill health effects subsequent to the explosions for unknown reasons.