|Contamination is impairment of goods quality due to dust, dirt or fats and oils, which are primarily caused by other goods or human (anthropogenic) influences.
Contamination acts on the outside of goods and its action may be limited to the surface or may be deeper and, in extreme cases, may penetrate them completely. Contamination may take the form of localized stains, but may also extend further. Stains are localized discolored or contaminated areas on the surface of an item. Betel stains, which generate serious claims, are a particular problem.
- Contamination of foodstuffs and textiles may give rise to serious objections.
- Exposure of fibers to fats and oils may result in self-heating and a cargo fire (see Section 13.6).
- Aggressive dusts may cause particularly severe corrosion on metal surfaces.
- Leaks from barrels and canisters, residues in tank container lines, porous seals, flanges and pipework when filling tank containers.
- Paper rolls become electrostatically charged and are soiled with black dust, which results in total loss.
- General contamination in packing centers.
- LCL cargoes may not correspond in terms of packaging, e.g. fat-saturated bags with oil-bearing seeds and cartons with leather goods.
- Mixing losses due to mixing of different types of goods due to accompanying cargo (LCL containers) or cargo residues, dirty dunnage and segregating material, incorrect segregation, e.g. baled cargo with water-based paint or bagged feedstuff with toxic paints, anthropogenic contamination of goods and, finally, contamination by pests (see Section 13.12) are some examples.