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Handling of Gypsum -Phosphogypsum, Toxins, physical reactions & environmental matters

Gypsum is a natural hydrated calcium sulphate. Insoluble in water. It is loaded as a fine powder that aggregates into lumps. Gypsum is not water solube. Average moisture content is 1% to 2 %. Gypsum is one of the more common minerals in sedimentary environments. It is a major rock forming mineral that produces massive beds, usually from precipitation out of highly saline waters. Since it forms easily from saline water, Gypsum can have many inclusions of other minerals and even trapped bubbles of air and water.

Gypsum characteristics and consideration prior loading

Handling gypsum & environmental matters

Gypsum crystal is usually found in conjunction with or near sulfur deposits. If the calcium sulfate in Gypsum mixes with the sulfur, then toxic chemicals can be produced, so the Gypsum must be mined properly to ensure the substances remain separate. One chief use for Gypsum is in drywall used to build houses. Contaminated Gypsum inside the walls of a house would jeopardize the health of the family living there. Possible complications include respiratory disorders, bloody noses, eye irritation, extreme fatigue and in some cases, death.

Physical Reactions

Even properly mined, clean gypsum can cause some irritation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gypsum dust can cause eye irritation, skin rashes, coughing, sneezing and nasal drainage. This risk is particularly associated with miners who are exposed to high levels of Gypsum dust for long periods of time. Gypsum drywall panels can pose health risks during renovations, destruction of buildings, and for people who are prone to allergic reactions. If you experience a reaction, move into fresh air, wash any areas that had direct contact with the Gypsum and drink plenty of water.

Environmental Degradation

The process of extracting the gypsum from the ground can cause environmental degradation. According to the Global Press Institute, Gypsum mines in India leave scars on the landscape. Not only are they unpleasant to look at, but all structure has been removed from the landscape and deposits of Gypsum are left exposed to the elements. The lack of rock or vegetation leads to soil erosion and causes sinkholes and landslides. Exposed Gypsum dissolves easily in the rain and leaves gaping holes that both contribute to the erosion and pose a physical danger.


Phosphogypsum is a byproduct of phosphate production. Like natural Gypsum, Phosphogypsum is primarily made of Calcium Sulfate. Unlike its natural cousin, Phosphogypsum is radioactive and much more dangerous to humans. According to Bay Soundings, a journal covering environmental issues affecting the Tampa Bay estuary, every ton of Phosphate fertilizer produced creates five tons of Phosphogypsum. The Phosphogypsum is stored in large stacks which can reach into the hundreds of feet high. The solution for handling the hazardous waste has been debated for years. The industry produces millions of tons of Phosphogypsum each year.

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Operation of sea going bulk carriers involved numerous hazards . Careful planning and exercising due caution for all critical shipboard matters are important . This site is a quick reference to international shipping community with guidance and information on the loading and discharging of modern bulk carriers so as to remain within the limitations as specified by the classification society.
It is vital to reduce the likelihood of over-stressing the ship's structure and also complying with all essential safety measures for a safe passage at sea. Our detail pages contain various bulk carrier related topics that might be useful for people working on board and those who working ashore in the terminal. For any remarks please Contact us

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