So, did you guys see 60 Minutes on CBS this past Sunday?
They were talking about a ship graveyard in Bangladesh. The ships are run aground at the beach there, and left for the pollution to leak into the water.
People working on taking the ships apart are not provided any protection against hazardous chemicals. They have to put their hands directly into the oil, etc.
When they're on the ship grinding metal they aren't provided respirators which the US Navy requires for similar work (I know what the USN requires because I did that kind of stuff during refits of the USS Florida).
Most of them aren't even wearing shoes.
When they exhale, grey dust comes out of their mouths, presumbably abestos and fine ground iron/steel/rust particles.
The announcer said that this was as close to hell as most people would ever see.
In 1998, Clinton signed a bill into law stating that US flagged civilian ships and US Navy vessels would NEVER be sent there. All US Flagged ships are now required to be decomissioned in the USA.
In the USA, this kind of work is done in a drydock, such as this drydock at Naval Submarine Base Pearl Harbor (yes, I have worked on a submarine in a drydock like that, at Bangor Naval Submarine Base near Seattle):
Except in the USA, there are federal laws requiring people to have respirators, steel toed boots, etc. Yeah, it's annoying to wear a respirator when you're grinding the metal on the DSRV surfaces in 80 degree weather, and it's expensive to buy those respirators, but it's necessary. You don't want to breathe in particles from metal grinding, trust me.
btw -- many people working in this place in Bangladesh started when they were 12. No enforcement of child labor laws.
Yes, American citizens such as myself do that kind of work, but "the problem" for corporations is all those safety requirements. It's "too expensive" to protect people's health. Americans are "lazy" because American law requires respirators and such.
I wanted to punch the President in the face when he said Americans won't do hard work. We WILL -- and do, as I did in the military, for example -- but we expect reasonable protections as required by law. Is it "lazy" to want a respirator when you're working with abestos????? I don't think so!!
I think it's reasonable to assume the Bahamas, being a "flag of convience", has no such law against sending their ships to Bangladesh...so guess where your Bahamas registered ship is going when she is decomissioned? The USA law I mentioned does not apply to a ship registered in the Bahamas, because that ship will go where the Bahamas allows her to go.
Click here to see what you're supporting when you ride a ship registered in a 3rd world country like The Bahamas:
One thing I learned in the Navy...a big problem with the world these days is absence of principle and ethics. I definitely question the ethics of people who support what is going on in Bangladesh.