20th February 2020

ANTIFOULING PAINTS UNDER SCRUTINY IN UK

Antifouling paints for boats are a popular option with many owners. However, the UK is looking at restricting their application to professional applicators and organizations.

The British Coatings Federation (BCF) Marine Coatings Group is launching a survey addressing concerns that authorities may do this. The survey is designed to determine DIY use of antifouling paints in the UK.

It aims to raise awareness in the boat-owning community regarding this issue, determine the current practice related to antifouling paint use by the DIY market, determine the awareness of users to the hazards of antifouling paint, emphasize the importance of using appropriate personal protective equipment, and provide an indication as to the impact on antifouling paint sales, boat maintenance costs and leisure boat ownership if such a restriction becomes law.

Information gathered will form the basis for a report from the BCF, which will provide an overall picture of the DIY application of antifouling paints in the UK, which may then be used as a basis for determining what further support activity is required. Examples of further support activity include education tools on hazards and the use of personal protective equipment, and the potential need for advocacy to defend the use of antifouling paints in the DIY or leisure sector.

Tom Bowtell, BCF’s CEO commented, “In our experience, regulators will always assume the worst case on the grounds of the precautionary principle, especially when there is little evidence to support an argument. That is why we need to survey those involved to gather that evidence and help convince government and authorities that boat owners can use antifouling paints in a responsible way. Given that nearly 400 DIY users completed the survey in the first two days since its launch, we are hopeful that we will gain a genuine picture of how antifouling paints are used.”

www.coatings.org.uk