NACE International is assisting the World Corrosion Organization (WCO) in its establishment of a Corrosion Awareness Day. The WCO has selected April 24, 2010 as the first Corrosion Awareness Day. On this day and in many countries of the world, activities are being organized to illustrate the detrimental effects of corrosion on everyday life, the economy and the environment, and to inform the public, industry, politicians, and educational institutions of the solutions and necessary steps to combat corrosion.
NACE International is one of the Founding Members of the WCO. The WCO is dedicated to working with corrosion societies around the globe to raise awareness about the impact of corrosion and what can be done to address it.
The WCO has recently released a study which reveals the paramount importance of corrosion control in everyday life. In the public, industry and government, the term “corrosion” is usually recognized only if spectacular damage occurs as a result of corrosion attack, sometimes in dramatic form of a bridge collapse or a pipeline leak or explosion. Thus, there is a significant need for increased awareness of corrosion as a phenomenon and as a risk.
According to formal government-sponsored studies such as the one completed in 2002 in the US, the direct cost of corrosion in industrialized countries amounts to three to four percent of the GDP. These studies have also shown that it is not only the costs that represent a significant impairment on the national economies. Safety, quality of life, and health risks are at play in all countries all over the world, including those that are less industrialized. Such studies have also shown that as much as a third of drinking water is lost on its way from the source to the consumer due to corrosion of water supply systems. Public infrastructure may be damaged by corrosion with consequences for the safety of bridges, road structures, buildings, and fluid storage tanks of all kinds. Transportation systems, including land-based, maritime and air traffic, are subject to the ill effects of corrosion, again raising important safety issues. Many of the new energy technologies, such as off-shore wind parks, underwater sea turbines, and the conversion of unused fuel resources with a high level of contaminants, depend in a crucial way on finding solutions to the respective corrosion problems.