Archive for the ‘cargo’ Category

Endosulfan safely retrieved: where are the other toxic chemicals?

October 6, 2008

There is a sigh of relief from the successful recovery of the toxic chemical cargo endosulfan from the ill-fated ship Princess of the Stars which sank at the height of Typhoon Frank 3 months ago in Romblon, Philippines. As the 402 barrels of endosulfan (about 10,000 kg) are sent to Manila, the government is bent to return the shipment to Israel.

The focus now must be the unfinished job of finding the other toxic chemicals and the retrieval of bodies which were trapped in the ship. About 10,000 liters of bunker fuel and at least four hazardous chemicals namely carbofuran, propineb, metamidophos and niclosamide haven’t been fully accounted for. In addition, it is unclear what happened to the 16 metric tons of toluene diisocyanate (TDI) in 80 drums that are missing from another ship: the MV Ocean Papa which sank in Mararison Island, Culasi.

So long as these hazardous chemicals haven’t accounted for, the danger of contamination is still there. Continued search for the missing toxic cargoes and monitoring of the surrounding environment are still priorities. The accountability of those responsible, particularly Sulpicio Lines, owner of the ship, must be pursued.(Photo Credit: AP/Bullit Marquez)=0=

PAF: A lone cargo plane for a thousand brave men

August 27, 2008

The Philippine Airforce (PAF) faces a significant blow in the crashing of a C-130 cargo plane in Davao, Philippines on August 26, 2008. One of only two remaining cargo planes that fly, the craft went down while on a military mission in Southern Philippines, killing its pilot and crew under yet-to-determined circumstances. It raises the possibility of terrorism or sabotage.

The C-130 is essential in ferrying military hardware and men in the country, particularly in war-torn Mindanao where Islamic separatist MILF and Moslem rebels are waging a fight. The plane serves as an over-taxed workhorse of the air for years—- one of only five, three of which are grounded for repairs.

Believed to have died, those on board at the time of the downing of the plane are as follows: Major Manuel Sambrano, the aircraft’s pilot; Captain Adrian de Dios, co-pilot; Flight Technical Sergeant Constantino Lobregas; Staff Sergeant John Arriola; Staff Sergeant Gerry Delioso; Staff Sergeant Felix Pedro Patriarga; Staff Sergeant Patricio Claur Jr; Staff Sergeant Aldrin Ilustrisimo and Staff Sgt. Perronilo Fernandez. GMA TV NeWs (08/27/08)

The PAF, its military dependents, and civilians rely on the C-130 as means of travel in the islands. With thousands of ground airmen and personnel who are battle-ready and willing to defend the country, an acute lack of equipment, like a loss of a plane, is a crashing blow to the military which needs both force and air. It raises anew the need to upgrade the air defense of the country =(Photo Credit: Pikitbulag)=0=

Toxic Cargo

June 28, 2008

After Sulpicio Lines blamed God for the sinking of the passenger ship “Princess for the Stars,” an illegal cargo of 10 metric tons of endosulfan, a highly hazardous neurotoxic organochlorine insecticide was found in the shipwreck, prompting divers to stop their mission of retrieving bodies from the ship’s hull.

According to Philstar (06/28/08, Berondo, W. et. Al)

They (Sulpicio Lines) only told Del Monte on Wednesday, in writing, that the cargo had been switched to the passenger ship. That was five days after the ferry sank. This type of chemical is not allowed on board passenger ships. ” Norlito Vicana, the director of the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority told ABS-CBN.

Del Monte said Sulpicio Lines loaded the endosulfan on the Princess of the Stars instead of the Princess of the Paradise “ without the knowledge and consent of Del Monte Philippines, Inc. (DMPI.)”

“ Upon learning that our cargo was loaded on the ill-fated Princess of the Stars, we immediately informed the FPA, ” a DMPI statement read.

With a clamor to ban the dangerous chemical worldwide, the use of endosulfan (thiodan) is prohibited in the European Union (EU) and other countries; its use in the Philippines is restricted. The United States still uses the pesticide which was first registered in 1954 for agricultural use, mainly to control insects and pests on fruits and vegetables.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) did not have knowledge of the toxic cargo placed inside a container van until it learned from DMPI, the insecticide consignee. Although no evidence of leakage has been detected, some divers had their blood checked for exposure in a laboratory in Singapore.

When ingested, inhaled or absorbed in the skin in significant amounts, acute endosulfan poisoning causes hyperactivity, nausea, dizziness, headache, tremors, seizures or even death. Chronic exposure can affect endocrine function as reproductive maturation delay and it can bring damage to the kidneys, testes and the liver. There is no antidote for endosulfan poisoning, and treatment is basically supportive (i.e. anticonvulsants for seizures.)=0=