|Marine pollution from antifouling paint particles|In: Marine Pollution Bulletin. Macmillan: London. ISSN 0025-326X, more
Antifouling; Copper; Marine pollution; Tributyltin; Zinc; Marine
Antifouling paint particles (APP) are generated during the maintenance of boats and are shed from abandonedstructures and grounded ships. Although they afford a highly visible, colourful reflection of contaminationin the vicinity of the source, little systematic study has been undertaken regarding thedistribution, composition and effects of APP in the wider marine environment. This paper reviews thestate of knowledge in respect of APP, with particular emphasis on those generated by recreational boatyards.The likely biogeochemical pathways of the biocidal and non-biocidal metals in current use (mainlyCu and Zn) are addressed in light of recent research and an understanding of the more general behaviourof contaminants in marine systems.Analyses of paint fragment composites from recreational facilities in the UK reveal chemical compositionsthat are similar to those representing the net signal of the original formulations; significantly, dryweight concentrations of Cu and Zn of up to about 35% and 15%, respectively, are observed and, relative toambient dusts and sediment, elevated concentrations of other trace metals, like Ba, Cd, Cr, Ni, Pb and Sn,occur. These metals leach more rapidly from APP than a painted surface due to the greater surface area ofpigments and additives exposed to the aqueous medium. In suspension, APP are subject to greater andmore rapid environmental variation (e.g. salinity, pH, dissolved oxygen) than painted hulls, while settledAPP represent an important source of persistent and degradable biocides to poorly circulating environments.Through diffusion and abrasion, high concentrations of contaminants are predicted in interstitialwaters that may be accumulated directly by benthic invertebrates. Animals that feed non-selectively andthat are exposed to or ingest paint-contaminated sediment are able to accelerate the leaching, depositionand burial of biocides and other substances, and represent an alternative vehicle for contaminant entryinto the marine foodchain. Clearly, an extensive understanding of biocide behaviour on painted surfacesis not sufficient for predictive or management purposes regarding APP. Greater caution is required byboaters and boatyards during the removal and disposal of solid wastes, and more awareness or stricterenforcement of relevant codes of practice or legislation is recommended.