Friday, December 20, 2013

Are You Prepared For Changing Antifouling Laws?

Biocides have been used in antifouling paints since the 1980s. However, they may not be around in future if the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships is anything to go by.

Since the beginning of 2003, parties of the convention have been forbidden from using antifouling systems that acted as biocides. Since 2008, parties were obliged to either remove the remaining paint completely, or else protect them with a special coating that prevents leaching of the biocide.

But what is all the fuss about? Before modern antifouling, lime and arsenic were used to protect the hulls of ships!

As pressure to preserve marine environments grows, so does criticism surrounding biocide-containing antifouling paints. The toxic metallic compounds work by killing off the organisms that litter the boats’ hulls. However, recent evidence suggests that the toxic compounds percolate the surrounding seawater, unintentionally killing other sea life, and damaging the marine environment.

Concerns have been expressed that these biocidal substances could even enter the food chain.

Restrictions currently focus on ships exclusively, and there is no law forbidding the use of biocidal antifoul on leisure boats. But why take the chance?

Choosing an antifoul system free from biocides protects you from sudden law changes in future, whilst caring for the marine environment you love so much.

Want to know more? Visit our website or tweet us @Aquacote

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