Emissions from copper-based boat bottom paints are a well-known environmental problem – yet they are widely used by boat owners. But a new study shows that non-toxic silicone-based bottom paint was better at keeping fouling at bay.
The study, the results of which have been published in the scientific journal Marine Pollution Bulletin, was carried out over a one-year period at three different sites in the Baltic Sea and Skagerrak. The study was carried out by researchers at the University of Gothenburg, the Swedish Environmental Institute IVL and Chalmers University of Technology.
– This means that we now have a great opportunity to drastically reduce the input of heavy metals into our sensitive inland sea. This is the first independent scientific study to show that silicone paints are more effective than copper-based paints in the Baltic Sea area, says Maria Lagerström, a researcher in marine environmental science at Chalmers, in a press release.
The study ended after a year, but the test panels remain at the test sites.
– These have now been under the surface for over two years and we can conclude that the silicone paint still works well and, above all, is better than the copper paint, says Maria Lagerström.
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Report: Peter Löfgren
Photo: Simon Stanford, Leif Eiranson, Johan Candert, Hans Berggren
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