The British Coatings Federation (BCF) Marine Coatings Group has addressed concerns that authorities may decide to restrict the application and use of antifouling (AF) paints to strictly professional applicators and organisations, by launching a survey to determine DIY use of AF paints in the UK.
The survey looks to raise awareness amongst the boat-owning community regarding this issue, determine the current practice related to AF paint use by the DIY market, determine the awareness of users to the hazards of AF paint, emphasizing the importance of using appropriate Personal Protective Equipment, and to provide an indication as to the impact on AF 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, providing an overall picture of the DIY application of AF paints in the UK, which may then be used as a basis for determining what further support activity is required, for example education tools on hazards and the use of PPE, potential need for advocacy to defend the use of AF paints in the DIY or leisure sector.
Tom Bowtell, the CEO of the British Coatings Federation, 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.”
DIY users of AF paints are invited to complete the British Coatings Federation survey before the closing date of 30th November 2015.