266 - 10/02 - Phenol + Phenolic Based Chemicals


We have been advised of several recent cases where containers have been contaminated with phenol and phenolic based chemicals. We understand this has lead to many ship operators not accepting shipments of these substances.

Containers have been affected by the Phenol leaking from inner packaging as it has a strong, characteristic 'sweet' odour, that results in severe tainting of the actual container; the vessel and also affects the vessel's crew as these substances are extremely toxic by inhalation, indigestion and skin absorption leaving serious chemical burns which can be fatal. These factors make the clean up operation particularly dangerous.

IMO quote the following on Phenol: -

"Noxious liquid which if discharged into the sea would present a hazard to either marine resources or human health and therefore justify the application of anti-pollution measures", therefore due attention should be given to the packing instructions in the IMDG code when stuffing the container."

There are many Phenol, Phenolic and Phenoxy based chemicals that are used for many products e.g. pharmaceuticals, dyes and pesticides. Special attention should be given to many generic named pesticides that give no indication of Phenol in their name i.e. Dicamba.

If containers are contaminated with Phenol or Phenoxy chemicals all dunnage and packing should be stripped out of the container and the container surface cleaned thoroughly to remove residual contamination. We understand this is not always successful and may result in these affected units being down graded for Phenol and Phenoxy chemicals or to utilise for non-odour critical services.

Source of information : Loss Prevention Dept


Staff Author