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XRF measurements of tin, copper and zinc in antifouling paints coated on leisure boats
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry. Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
Number of Authors: 4
2016 (English)In: Environmental Pollution, ISSN 0269-7491, E-ISSN 1873-6424, Vol. 213, 594-599 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Tributyltin (TBT) and other organotin compounds have been restricted for use on leisure boats since 1989 in the EU. Nonetheless, release of TBT is observed from leisure boats during hull maintenance work, such as pressure hosing. In this work, we used a handheld X-ray Fluorescence analyser (XRF) calibrated for antifouling paint matrixes to measure tin, copper and zinc in antifouling paints coated on leisure boats in Sweden. Our results show that over 10% of the leisure boats (n = 686) contain >400 mu g/cm(2) of tin in their antifouling coatings. For comparison, one layer (40 mu m dry film) of a TBT-paint equals approximate to 800 mu g Sn/cm(2). To our knowledge, tin has never been used in other forms than organotin (OT) in antifouling paints. Thus, even though the XRF analysis does not provide any information on the speciation of tin, the high concentrations indicate that these leisure boats still have OT coatings present on their hull. On several leisure boats we performed additional XRF measurements by progressively scraping off the top coatings and analysing each underlying layer. The XRF data show that when tin is detected, it is most likely present in coatings close to the hull with several layers of other coatings on top. Thus, leaching of OT compounds from the hull into the water is presumed to be negligible. The risk for environmental impacts arises during maintenance work such as scraping, blasting and high pressure hosing activities. The data also show that many boat owners apply excessive paint layers when following paint manufacturers recommendations. Moreover, high loads of copper were detected even on boats sailing in freshwater, despite the more than 20 year old ban, which poses an environmental risk that has not been addressed until now.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 213, 594-599 p.
Keyword [en]
Antifouling paints, XRF, Metals, TBT, Copper, Zinc
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-132501DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2016.03.029ISI: 000377921800062PubMedID: 27016611OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-132501DiVA: diva2:953049
Available from: 2016-08-16 Created: 2016-08-15 Last updated: 2017-02-20Bibliographically 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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