Poisoning ships

Published: Tuesday 31 October 2000

toxic chemicals used in ship paint are severely polluting the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Greece, reported a recent research. Sediment taken from Piraeus and Thessaloniki harbours and the sea close beaches around Salamina island have shown that toxic TBT (tributyl tin) and other toxic compounds are leaching directly from ship paints into waters just metres from popular swimming areas.

This can have a severe impact on human health, researches stated. The toxicity of TBT prevents the growth of algae, barnacles and other marine organisms. TBT is also responsible for the disruption of the immune and endocrine systems of marine shellfish, leading to the development of male characteristics in females, an effect known as 'imposex'.

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