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More than half of vessels in the global fleet contain asbestos

Asbestos can be found aboard most vessels in the global merchant fleet despite rules banning the harmful material, writes maritime testing agency in a new report. This places shipowners in a difficult position.

Photo: PR / Danske Rederier

A new survey shows that more than 55 percent of active vessels in the global merchant fleet and 50 percent of all newbuilds contain asbestos to some extent in their systems, writes maritime testing agency Maritec, which has conducted studies examining asbestos in existing and newly built ships between the years of 2011 and 2020.

In 2011, the IMO banned asbestos on ships. Ships built in the period 2002 to 2011 can only have asbestos on board to a very limited and specific extent, such as individual engine parts or as part of insulation. If asbestos was found on a ship during this period, it had to be removed within a period of three years and replaced with another material.

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