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Bioassays and selected chemical analysis of biocide-free antifouling coatings

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Author: Watermann, B.T. · Daehne, B. · Sievers, S. · Dannenberg, R. · Overbeke, J.C. · Klijnstra, J.W. · Heemken, O.
Publisher: Elsevier
Place: Amsterdam
Institution: TNO Industrie en Techniek
Source:Chemosphere, 11, 60, 1530-1541
Identifier: 238693
Keywords: Biocide-free antifouling coatings · Bioassays · Barnacle · Epoxy · Bisphenol A · Heavy metals · Organotin


Over the years several types of biocide-free antifouling paints have entered the market. The prohibition of biocidal antifouling paints in special areas of some European countries such as Sweden, Denmark and Germany has favoured the introduction of these paints to the market. Several types of biocide-free antifouling paints were subjected to bioassays and selected chemical analysis of leachate and incorporated substances. Both non-eroding coatings (silicones, fibre coats, epoxies, polyurethane, polyvinyl) and eroding coatings (SPCs, ablative) were tested to exclude the presence of active biocides and dangerous compounds. The paints were subjected to the luminescent bacteria test and the cypris larvae settlement assay, the latter delivering information on toxicity as well as on efficacy. The following chemical analyses of selected compounds of dry-film were performed:leaching-rate of organotin compounds from silicones and of nonylphenol and bisphenol A from epoxy and vinyl based coatings,concentration and leaching rate of selected organic compounds in polyurethane,concentration of heavy metals in eroding coatings. The results of the bioassays indicated that none of the coatings analysed contained leachable biocides. Nevertheless, some products contained or leached dangerous compounds. The analyses revealed leaching of nonylphenol (up to 74.7 ng/cm2/d after 48 h) and bisphenol A (up to 2.77 ng/cm2/d after 24 h) from epoxy resins used as substitutes for antifouling paints. The heavy metal, zinc, was measured in dry paint film in quantities up to 576 000 ppm in erodable coatings, not incorporated as a biocide but to control the rate of erosion. Values for TBT in silicone elutriates were mostly below the detection limit of 0.005 mg/kg. Values for DBT ranged between <0.005 and 6.28 mg/kg, deriving from catalysts used as curing agents. Some biocide-free paints contained leachable, toxic and dangerous compounds in the dry film, some of which may act as substitutes for biocides or are incorporated as plasticizers or catalysts. Implications to environmental requirements and legislation are discussed.