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Effects of silicone ‘foul-release’ hull coating on sea urchin development

Oils in silicone coatings are found to affect the development of sea urchins. Extracts from a paper: “The effects of model polysiloxane and fouling-release coatings on embryonic development of a sea urchin (Arbacia punctulata) and a fish (Oryzias latipes)” by Danqing Fenga, Daniel Rittschofa, Beatriz Orihuelaa, Kevin Wing Hin Kwoka, Shane Stafslien, Bret Chisholme.

“Commercial fouling-release coatings inhibited development. Fish embryos had delayed hatching, increased mortality of hatchlings and dramatically decreased ability of hatchlings to inflate the swim bladder and reduced hatching success on all coatings. After one-month immersion of coatings in running seawater to simulate initial application in the marine environment, sea urchin embryos died when placed over model silicones.”

“Silicone oils, which are often incorporated in fouling-release coatings, trap and suffocate marine organisms.”

“Finally, components of silicones at the surface of silicones interact with enzymes involved in curing of biological glues.”

Commercial fouling-release coatings

“While most embryos developed normally to full plutei in the control, all urchin embryos tested over Intersleek 425 and Intersleek 970 prior to leaching stopped developing at pre-prism stage in both experiments (Table 3). For Intersleek 757, in experiment 1, 85 ± 4% embryos reached early pluteus. In experiment 2, 93 ± 1% of the embryos developed normally to full pluteus. After immersion in running seawater for one month, urchin embryos over Intersleek 425 and Intersleek 757 coatings developed normally and were comparable to the control. In contrast in experiment 1 over 70% of embryos over Intersleek 970 reached only the prism stage in 48 h and in experiment 2, 44% did not develop past prism stage and 51 ± 6% developed normally.”

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