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A former ocean liner which contains tonnes of toxic asbestos and other hazardous materials is to be dismantled in India’s infamous Alang scrap yards.

The recycling of the Blue Lady was given the go ahead in June after months of wrangling (see related story) and has now entered Indian waters.

Environmental campaigners and those concerned about workers’ rights had pointed to the lack of health and safety provisions in the low-tech scrap yards and their inability to safely deal with the toxic materials.

There are, however, strong economic incentives for the Indian authorities to allow the hulks to be carved up on the beaches of Alang and ports like it as it provides steady work in a poor area and huge profits for those who own the yards and broker the deals.

Sam Bond

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