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Handling carcinogens & cyanide-like cargoes onboard chemical tankers

Hazards of carcinogens
: A carcinogen is a substance that may cause cancer by contact or by inhalation. It is therefore essential that the highest safety precautions are taken when handling these cargoes. Access to deck areas must be restricted to duty personnel only.

All accommodation doors and ports must be closed and ventilation put on recirculation. Any member of crews involved in cargo operations must wear chemical protective suits and breathing apparatus when:
  1. Taking ullages (other than the required closed level gauging)
  2. Connecting/disconnecting the shore cargo or vapour transfer hose and when breaking any connections.
  3. Taking samples of cargo
  4. Commencing tank, line and hose cleaning
  5. Tank ventilating (until the effluent concentration is below the safe limit in ppm as listed on the MSDS)
  6. Entering tanks where the vapour concentration is known not to be zero ppm as indicated by a suitable gas analyser
  7. Handling spillages


The following are examples, which are either known or are suspected to be carcinogens. Always refer to MSDS and other sources of information for details.






Cyanide-like cargoes

The following products give off vapour which may cause the symptoms of cyanide poisoning:
In addition to all general precautions for dangerous chemical handling, the vessel is to keep a cyanide poisoning first aid kit readily available in the cargo control room or hospital when carrying such cargoes. All crew members involved in cargo operations must be aware of its location. The kit is to contain the following:
  1. Amyl Nitrate 12 pearls
  2. Syringe, sterile (10cc) 1 pc
  3. Syringe, sterile (50cc) 1 pc
  4. Sodium nitrate (10cc 3% solution) 2 ampoules
  5. Sodium thiosulphate (50cc 25% solution) 2 ampoules
  6. Instructions for use 1 set
Personal Protective Equipment

All tankers designated for carriage of dangerous chemicals in bulk must have on board suitable protective equipment and clothing for the protection of crew involved in cargo handling and tank cleaning operations. The types and quantities of protective equipment as well as additional safety equipment should be in a strict compliance with requirements of IBC/BCH Code.

All ships carrying dangerous cargoes should have on board medical first-aid equipment, including oxygen resuscitation equipment and antidotes for cargo carried in compliance with recommendations listed in IMO -–MFAG (Medical First Aid Guide) and WHO – IMGS (International Medical Guide for Ships).



We have summarized below some of the special chemical cargoes frequently carried onboard chemical tankers

Handling benzene & methanol safety precautions

Handling carcinogens requirements for certain chemical cargoes

Handling ACRYLONITRILE safety precautions

handling ISOCYANATES safety precautions

handling Sulfuric acid safety precautions

handling Phenol safety precautions

Requirements of various grade chemical cargo heating

Handling benzene & methanol safety precautions

Personal protective equipments for carcinogens & cyanide-like cargoes onboard chemical tankers



Following detail pages explain all liquid chemical hazards & precautionary measures while carrying at sea.

  1. Toxicology and associated hazards onboard chemical tankers
  2. Hazards of vapour given off by a flammable liquid while carrying at sea
  3. Reactivity of various noxious liquid chemicals
  4. Most corrosive chemicals carried onboard chemical tankers
  5. What is putrefaction process of liquid chemicals ?
  6. Specific gravity,Vapour pressure and boiling point,Electrostatic charging & measuring Viscosity
  7. General precautions onboard chemical tankers
  8. Mooring precautions onboard chemical tankers
  9. Berth precautions onboard chemical tankers
  10. Cold weather countermeasures, avoiding electric storms
  11. Restriction on using radio equipments and other mobile devices in cargo working areas
  12. Handling precautions for carcinogens or cyanide-like substances
  13. Means of access (gangways or accommodation ladders) safety precautions
  14. Preparations for hot work and safety precautions
  15. Precautions against static electricity





Following reference publications provide useful guidance and international regulations for carrying hazardous chemicals at sea.



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