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Environ Int. 2004 Apr;30(2):235-48.

Worldwide occurrence and effects of antifouling paint booster biocides in the aquatic environment: a review.

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  • 1Laboratory of Environmental Technology, Department of Chemistry, University of Ioannina, 45110, Ioannina, Greece.


Organic booster biocides were recently introduced as alternatives to organotin compounds in antifouling products, after restrictions imposed on the use of tributyltin (TBT) in 1987. Replacement products are generally based on copper metal oxides and organic biocides. This ban has led to an increase in alternative coating products containing the above biocides. The most commonly used biocides in antifouling paints are: Irgarol 1051, diuron, Sea-nine 211, dichlofluanid, chlorothalonil, zinc pyrithione, TCMS (2,3,3,6-tetrachloro-4-methylsulfonyl) pyridine, TCMTB [2-(thiocyanomethylthio) benzothiazole], and zineb. Since 1993, several studies have demonstrated the presence of these biocides in European coastal environment as a result of their increased use. More recently, the presence of these biocides was also revealed in waters from Japan, United States, Singapore, Australia and Bermuda. This paper reviews the currently available data on the occurrence of these biocides in the aquatic environment. Some data dealing with the environmental fate, partitioning, behaviour and risk assessment of antifouling paint booster biocides are also reported in order to discuss the detected levels of contamination.

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