Visakhapatnam, Sept 12 Though the tributlytin (TBT) paints are on the way out in the shipping industry owing to their toxicity and the consequent adverse impact on marine organisms, there is also a minority view that the ban on such paints is based on insufficient evidence and a biased assessment and, therefore, there is a need for greater research into the issue, according to Dr N.V. Rao, Chief Operating Officer, National Ship Design and Research Centre (NSDRC), here.
He was speaking at a one-day seminar in the NSDRC here on Friday on the TBT paint ban and its impact on the shipping industry.
The toxicity of TBT together with its tendency to be accumulated in marine organisms can lead to heavy ecological damage, it is said, but there is also a view that the positive impact of TBT such as reduction in greenhouse gas emissions has been ignored. The long-term biocidal properties of the existing alternatives to TBT paints have also not been studied," he said.
To address the need for a deeper study into the issue, he said, the European Commission had commissioned a study into the issue and the NSDRC and six other agencies were involved in the project. "We are organising the seminar as a part of the effort," he explained.
Dr Rao said the project would study the antifouling paints and their impact on marine environment and the alternatives available to the shipping industry. "A cost-benefit analysis will also be conducted, he added.
Commodore Naresh Kumar, Director (Technical) of the Hindusthan Shipyard Ltd here, said the shipyard was using international paints permitted by the International Maritime Organisation. "Therefore, definitely TBT paints are out, as no shipyard will take the risk of using such paints because of the ban, but there is still lack of clarity on many issues. It is a challenging task for the scientists to find suitable, cost-effective alternatives," he said.
Prof B. Satyanarayana, Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University , who inaugurated the conference, congratulated the NSDRC for organising a seminar on an issue so vital to the shipping industry.
Date : 13/09/2008
Courtesy : Businessline