Air pollution control regulations and possible damage to the food chain
According to the UN report, the application of scrubbers to reduce air pollution may cause an increase of particulate pollutants discharged into the sea. To be more precise, the International Maritime Organization claims that new air pollution control regulations introduced earlier this year could damage people by contaminating fish and crustaceans with toxins.
The thing is that at the moment data information about air quality and its toxicity is insufficient to assess the risk to people caused by the increased application of exhaust gas air treatment devices, which are also known as “scrubber systems”. Although wet scrubbers perform air treatment to reduce air pollution from ships, the cheapest and most popular models of scrubbers lead to a significant increase in the number of particulates discharged into the sea.
It should be noted that shipowners have spent more than $12bn installing thousands of wet air scrubbers on their vessels to comply with new air pollution control standards that were presented on 1 January 2020. Herewith, some of the particulates such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are considered to be most concerning, and experts confirm that they are responsible for skin, lung, bladder, liver and stomach cancers.
According to the IMO’s report, “carrying out a preliminary risk assessment [on the PAH emissions from wet scrubbers] was not possible considering the available information” and “secondary poisoning (via consumption of seafood) had been mentioned as a likely exposure route for humans.” Thus, it is required to carry out accurate risk assessments before making the decision concerning the use of wet air scrubbers under new regulations.
Some people consider that the use of scrubbers on ship vessels should be forbidden before the IMO obtains data concerning their impact on human health and food chain contamination. Additionally, there is a possibility that in the case of the popularity of the scrubber system use, the number of particulate pollutants may increase and accumulate over time, herewith, nobody knows the influence in human health will be.
Also, there is an opinion that air treatment devices influence the food chain and scientists do not have reliable information about when safe threshold limits will be overcome. Nevertheless, shipowners confirm that they have performed rigorous studies to test particulates discharged by wet air scrubbers. Finally, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Europe demonstrated the information that exhaust gas air treatment devices have a limited impact on water quality. Another shipping company presented research, according to which wet scrubbers are regarded as “a safe and effective way of complying with the recently implemented regulations for air treatment of emissions.”
If you would like to make your contribution to improving air quality in order to provide air pollution control, you should choose a new type of wet scrubbers that is Multi-Vortex scrubber. Multi-Vortex wet air scrubber could apply water contaminated with dust, sand, and even small rocks to capture particulate pollutants, different types of dust and some gases from the air.
This type of scrubber is an ideal solution for ore and coal mining. Thus, it can be used in different mining, combustion and chemical processes to capture gases. Also, in some cases, the unique Multi-Vortex scrubber design allows utilizing cheaper reagents to capture the pollutant gas with more efficiency than a standard wet scrubber.