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Biofouling of leisure boats as a source of metal pollution
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8478-0144
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
2017 (English)In: Environmental science and pollution research international, ISSN 0944-1344, E-ISSN 1614-7499, Vol. 24, no 1, 997-1006 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The release of harmful metals from antifouling paints to water bodies is a well-known problem. In this study, we measured both the amount of biofouling growth on leisure boats during one season as well as the concentration of metals accumulated by the biofouling matrix. Furthermore, the efficiency of antifouling paints and mechanical boat cleaning as well as the effect of hull colour on biofouling were evaluated. Unlike paint residues, biofouling waste has never been regarded as a source of metal contamination and has previously been neglected in the scientific literature. Our results revealed that the biofouling waste contained very high concentrations of metals, up to 28,000 mg copper/kg dw and 171,000 mg zinc/kg dw, which exceeds the guidance values for least sensitive land use in Sweden by factors of 140 and 340, respectively. This observation is important because the contaminated biofouling waste is commonly disposed of in boatyard soils at the end of each season, thus increasing the levels of metal pollution. Moreover, there was no significant difference in the amount of biofouling if the boats were coated with copper or zinc containing paints or no paint at all, indicating that biocide paints might not be necessary in low-salinity areas such as the Stockholm archipelago. For boats that were not painted at all during the season, those washed on boat washers (mechanically) had on average half of the amount of biofouling compared to boats that were not cleaned mechanically. The results of the study indicate the importance of proper management of biofouling waste as well as the use of more environmentally friendly removal methods for biofouling such as boat washers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 24, no 1, 997-1006 p.
Keyword [en]
Antifouling paint, Biofouling, Copper, Zinc, Boat, Field study
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-139819DOI: 10.1007/s11356-016-7883-7ISI: 000392105700093OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-139819DiVA: diva2:1074425
Available from: 2017-02-15 Created: 2017-02-15 Last updated: 2017-03-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Use and environmental impact of antifouling paints in the Baltic Sea
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Use and environmental impact of antifouling paints in the Baltic Sea
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Biocide-based antifouling (AF) paints are the most common method for preventing biofouling, i.e. the growth of algae, barnacles and other organisms on boat hulls. AF paints for leisure boats are predominantly based on copper (Cu) as the main biocide, with zinc (Zn) present as a pigment and stabilizer. Both metals are released from the paint matrix into the water column, leading to contamination of marinas which typically have only limited water exchange. Thus, the aim of this PhD thesis was to describe the use of AF paints in different regions in Sweden, as well as the associated environmental consequences with regard to contamination of the environment and toxicity to non-target aquatic snails. Using a recently developed X-ray fluorescence application, high levels of Cu were detected on boats moored in freshwaters, despite a more than 20-year-old ban, as well as high levels of tin (Sn) on 10 % of the boats, indicating the presence of (old) tributyltin paints (TBT), which might pose an environmental risk and a health hazard for people performing the paint scraping (paper 1). In addition, very high levels of Cu and Zn were measured in the biofouling material collected from the boat hulls, and this is problematic because the biofouling is commonly disposed of on the soil in boatyards at the end of each season. No difference was found in the amount of biofouling on boats coated with Cu or biocide-free paints, which implies that Cu might be currently overused in areas of low salinity and low barnacle density (paper 2). This work also introduces the use of a new species for ecotoxicological field experiments, the snail Theodoxus fluviatilis. Chronic field experiments (paper 3) revealed 6-fold increases in snail mortality, negative growth and up to 67-fold decreased reproduction in marinas, compared to areas not impacted by boating (‘reference areas’). Moreover, a higher prevalence of snails with histopathological alterations (e.g. necrosis of gills, gonads, midgut gland and parasite infestation, among others) was observed in the marinas, compared to the reference areas (paper 4). Statistical modelling indicated that the majority of the toxic effects were best predicted by the metals, most likely originating from AF paints. The results presented in this thesis depict some important aspects of AF paint use in brackish water and highlight the necessity of implementing a suitable management practice for the heavily contaminated biofouling waste in order to minimize the risk to soils. In addition, the evidence of toxicity to snails in marinas can be used as a basis to increase the public understanding of the impact of recreational boating and encourage people to choose less toxic alternatives to AF paints.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University, 2017. 33 p.
Keyword
boats, antifouling paints, metals, XRF, in situ, caging, Theodoxus fluviatilis, toxicity
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-139590 (URN)978-91-7649-692-3 (ISBN)978-91-7649-693-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-03-24, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius Väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2017-03-01 Created: 2017-02-09 Last updated: 2017-04-21Bibliographically approved

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Bighiu, Maria AlexandraEriksson-Wiklund, Ann-KristinEklund, Britta
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