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IMO: Agrees to ban PFOS from firefighting systems on board ships

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작성자 최고관리자 댓글 0건 조회 195회 작성일 22-03-23 18:08


IMO: Agrees to ban PFOS from firefighting systems on board ships

by The Editorial Team

March 11, 2022


The IMOs Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE) has finalized prohibition of perfluoro-octane sulfonic acid (PFOS) from fire-fighting systems on board ships.

This prohibition will protect the crew against exposure to dangerous substances that are used in fire-fighting systems and will minimize the negative consequences on the environment.

The International Maritime Organizations (IMO) sub-committee on ship systems and equipment (SSE) met for the 8th session from 28 February to 4 March. Amongst other decisions, the sub-committee finalised prohibition of perfluoro-octane sulphonic acid (PFOS) to be used or stored on board as part of ships fire-fighting systems.


It is important to recall that the use of this substance ashore has already been heavily restricted by the Stockholm convention.


What is PFOS?
PFOS is part of a group of related chemicals known as perfluorinated alkylated substances (PFAS). This is also called perfluorochemicals (PFCs). This group of chemicals is commonly used in a wide range of industrial processes and is found in many consumer products.


PFOS is toxic to humans, and there is growing evidence that long-chain PFAS could cause liver malfunction, disruptive effects on the immune and endocrine system, adverse neurobehavioral effects, testicular and kidney cancer, and other adverse effects. Due to its long-term persistent accumulation, humans, wildlife and the environment are continually exposed.

Studies have shown that, workers and people who live in in areas with high levels of PFOS in drinking water, PFOS can:

  • increase cholesterol,

  • cause pregnancy-induced hypertension,

  • increase the risk for thyroid disease,

  • decrease antibody response to vaccines,

  • decrease fertility,

  • cause small decreases in birth weight.

It should be pointed out that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) has classified PFOS as having suggestive evidence of carcinogenic potential.

On ships, this chemical may be found in firefighting foam compounds. The IMO SSE 8, decided to prohibit the use of PFOS from new ships from 1 January 2026 and to eliminate the substance from existing ships no later than five years from the date of this requirement coming into force.

In the meantime, it was agreed that when substances containing PFOS are removed from the ship, they should be moved to appropriate reception facilities.




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