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Persistence of TBT and copper in excess on leisure boat hulls around the Baltic Sea
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
Number of Authors: 22018 (English)In: Environmental science and pollution research international, ISSN 0944-1344, E-ISSN 1614-7499, Vol. 25, no 15, p. 14595-14605Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A handheld XRF-analyzer specially calibrated for measurements of metals on plastic boat hulls has been used on leisure boats in Denmark (DK), Finland (FI), and Germany (DE). The results on tin and copper are presented as mu g metal/cm(2). Tin is a proxy for the occurrence of organotin compounds on the boat. Two or three sites were visited in each country and between 25 and 90 boats were measured at each site. Every boat was measured at six to eight places, and the results are presented both as mean and median values. Linear regression of mean to median values of the 377 data pairs shows high relationship with R-2 = 0.9566 for tin and R-2 of 0.9724 for copper and thus both ways of calculation may be used. However, for regulative use, it is suggested that all individual measurements on each boat should be presented and used for decisions of removal or sealing of boat hulls. The results are compared with published data from different parts of Sweden, i.e., boats in fresh water, brackish water, and salt water. The results show that tin with mean values > 50 mu g Sn/cm(2) is still found on 42, 24, and 23% of the boats in DK, FI, and DE, respectively. The corresponding percentages based on median values are 38, 22, and 18% for DK, FI, and DE, respectively. The variation among boats is high with a maximum mean value of 2000 mu g Sn/cm(2). As comparison, one layer of an old TBT antifouling paint Hempels Hard racing superior, corresponds to 300 mu g Sn/cm(2). The percentage of boats with tin >400 mu g Sn/cm(2) content based on mean values was 10% in DK, 5% in FI, and 1% in DE. The corresponding median values were 9, 6, and 1% for DK, FI, and DE. Copper, >100 mu g Cu/cm(2), was detected on all measured boats in DK and in DE and on all but 3% of the FI boats. One layer of Hempels MilleXtra corresponds to I' 4000 mu g Cu/cm(2). The recommendation on the can is to apply two layers. The proportion of boats with higher mean copper values than 8000 mu g Cu/cm(2) was 51, 56, and 61 for boats in DK, FI, and DE, respectively. The proportion based on median values > 8000 mu g Cu/cm(2) was 50, 54, and 61% for DK, FI, and DE. The conclusion is that many leisure boats around the Baltic Sea still display or possess antifouling paints containing organotin compounds and that more than half of the boats have more copper than needed for one boat season according to the paint producers. Much of these known toxic compounds will probably be released into the environment and harm the biota. The calibrated XRF-method, intended for area measurements on boat hulls, is an easy and cheap way to detect boats with organotin compounds and high copper content. We recommend environmental authorities to use this method for identification of such boats and to use the results for requesting measures to minimize further leakage to the environment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 25, no 15, p. 14595-14605
Keywords [en]
TBT, Copper, Concentrations on boat hulls, XRF-measurements
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-157792DOI: 10.1007/s11356-018-1614-1ISI: 000433495500030PubMedID: 29532372OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-157792DiVA, id: diva2:1235538
Available from: 2018-07-26 Created: 2018-07-26 Last updated: 2018-07-26Bibliographically approved

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