Ship breaking yards are the last resting place for end of life ships. At these yards, ships are scrapped, primarily for their steel content.
Until 1980s, ship breaking took place in the developed countries such as the United States, UK, and Europe. Today, however, most ship breaking yards are in developing nations, principally Bangladesh, China, and India, due to lower labor costs and less stringent environmental regulations dealing with the disposal of lead paint and other toxic substances.
Every year 600-700 sea vessels are brought to the beaches of Asia for scrapping and 52% of large ships are scrapped in Bangladesh.
Workers have no unions, no safety equipment, and no training. About 50 are said to die in accidents each year; often in explosions set off by blowtorches deep inside the fume-filled holds.