Safe antifouling initiative launched

Dress appropriately when antifouling and use the right PPE equipment
Dress appropriately when antifouling and use the right PPE equipment

Everyone using antifoul should wear the right personal equipment – that’s the message from the British Coatings Federation, (BCF), which along with the RYA and British Marine, has launched a new DIY Safe Antifouling Initiative.

The objective of this initiative is to inform and educate boat owners regarding the hazards associated with antifouling their boats and follows on from an online survey carried out on the DIY use of antifouling paints in the UK.

The survey showed the majority of respondents wore protective clothing but also highlighted areas where improvements could be made, such as providing better guidance and information on how to minimise the risk of skin contact with antifoul paint.

BCF has now published a guidance document explaining how to prepare a boat’s hull, apply antifoul paints safely and detailing best practice for cleaning up and waste disposal.

A poster has been produced for display in chandlers, marinas and boatyards and a tri-fold leaflet has also been prepared.

“As an industry we are trying to raise awareness of how people use the products,” said Geoff Mackrill, head of Teal & Mackrill and acting chair of BCF.

“All over it’s very positive and very good to get that many responses.

“We’re very pleased the RYA and BM are with us in how to use the products, especially when it comes to cleaning off boats and scraping.

“We are trying to promote the fact that everyone should wear the right personal equipment.”

And he says a cultural change is required: “It’s not just doing your boat it’s what you do with what comes off it. We have to get people to apply best practice.”

For the manufacturers, there is a choice of which competent authority dossiers on ingredients are submitted to and then which other nations in the EU are applied to for mutual recognition.

“We can apply for European wide approval but it’s a lot of money,” said Mr Mackrill. “We’re not sure how each competent authority will work together to judge the dossier.”

For details and information on safe antifouling, click here.


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