A GLOBAL convention, controlling the use of potentially harmful anti-fouling paints on ships, has been formally agreed by the International Maritime Organisation; the agreement - which has been discussed since 1992 - will ban the painting or repainting of organotin compounds on ships by January, 2003. Also, by January 2008, ships already coated with these substances must have them removed from their hulls and other external parts and surfaces. Ship owners will have to strip them, as they cannot seal them with another coating. The convention ...

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