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An introduction to anti-fouling – video

Anti-fouling is a toxic time-bomb of accumulating poison in the oceans.

The latest estimate suggests a volume of biocide equivalent to 9 St. Paul’s Cathedrals is being dumped in the oceans every year. See the introduction to anti-fouling video here:

2 Responses to An introduction to anti-fouling – video

  • 1. Copper is a natural product, essential for all life, and its use in antifouling paints has been going on for centuries. Wooden ships had copper bottoms in the 1700’s, and since that time it has been of great benefit to the environment, both for reducing greenhouse gases and for stopping the spread of invasive species on ships. If it was as dangerous to marine life as this video implies it would have been banned long ago.
    2. Copper is 1000x less toxic that Tri-butyltin (TBT) and has been approved for use in antifoulings by regulatory authorities in USA, EU, Australia, NZ etc. after extensive Risk Assessment studies have been carried out in each location.

  • Thanks for your comments, Colin. Yes, copper is of course a ‘natural’ product, but at the concentrations we see accumulating in port and harbour sediments it is undeniably toxic and inimical to marine life. You would not drink a solution of copper at the concentrations we clearly see coming off ships in the video. Anti-foulings also contain a variety of pesticides such as Diuron and Irgarol which make the problem worse.

    There is more than adequate research showing harm to marine life in areas where copper from anti-fouling builds up – at Marina Del Rey for example where the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board are doing their best to limit the damage. Their advice states that “copper also makes its way into the water where it can negatively affect other organisms, causing gill and nervous system damage in fish, and mortality in invertebrates that make up the base of the food chain.”

    Forgive me for mentioning it, but I see that you are writing from a “” email address – you will of course be aware that Chemet are one of the largest global producers of copper products and supply many anti-fouling manufacturers. While I would not criticise you for supporting your company, it has to be said that there has been considerable lobbying from the anti-fouling industry to head off legislation designed to protect marine life from the effects of anti-fouling, both in the US and in Europe.

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