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Britain Concerned about Ship Recycling

The Commons Environmental and Rural Affairs Committee found that Britain's old ships are being dismantled under "inadequate" conditions in developing countries like Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.

The committee blamed "lack of action" by the government for the problem and said that standards of health, safety, and environmental protection at ship breaking yards in developing countries are considered "unacceptable" in developed countries.

They claimed that old British ships contained hazardous materials such as asbestos, polychlorinated biphenals (PCBs, and waste oils. Their report has requested that the President of the European Union and the Chairman of the G8 encouraged international action to ensure that tankers are dismantled in a responsible manner, especially since single-hull tankers are to be phased out over the next ten years.