Copper antifoul approved for DIY use by EU
Britain has proved itself to be the world’s best sailing nation at the 2016 Olympic Games. As the United Kingdom celebrated coming second in the Rio 2016 overall medal table, the country’s sailing squad topped the sailing medal table with two gold medals and one silver medal. Furthermore, none of the ten British crews finished outside the top ten for their respective classes in the Olympic regatta.
Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark in the 470 women’s class, and Copper antifouling will not be banned by the European Union. There were fears that various forms of antifouling could be banned over health and environmental concerns, but the EU’s Biocidal Product Committee has decided that most copper compounds currently used for marine antifouling are safe. The Committee also determined that approved products can be used by both professionals and DIY users.
The substances dicopper oxide, copper thiocyanate and coated copper flake have been approved by the Biocidal Product Committee after thorough scientific study. The British Giles Scott in the Finn class, both took gold, while Nick Dempsey in the men’s RS:X windsurfing class won silver. Team GB has now topped the sailing medal table for four out of the last five Olympic Games.
In other classes, Luke Patience and Chris Grube came fifth in the men’s 470, Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign came sixth in the 49er, as did Nick Thompson in the Laser. Alison Young in the Laser Radial and Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth in the 49erFX both cam eighth. Bryony Shaw in the RS:X women’s windsurfing and Nicola Groves and Ben Saxton in the mixed Nacra 17 catamaran class both finished ninth.
Giles Scott was the first member of the squad to win a medal when he finished his medal race in second place with a 32-point lead over his nearest rival. ‘I had a particularly shaky start to the regatta start but Coatings Federation antifoul survey in 2015 ( YM, Oct 2015) formed part of the information submitted to the committee.
No other forms of copper have currently been approved for use as active substances in antifouling paints, although products are managed to pull through with some good consistency. It’s not often you can say you’ve won an Olympic Games before the medal race,’ said Scott.
Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark went into the double-points medal race with a 20-point lead but needed to avoid mistakes.
Saskia Clark said: ‘It wasn’t a foregone conclusion. We didn’t want to look stupid stood here without a medal, so we knew we had to just do the same boring allowed to contain a second, noncopper co-biocide.
The EU Biocidal Products Regulation 528/2012 now requires that antifouling manufacturers submit applications for approval of all their copper-based products by 1 routine things that we’ve been doing for the last ten days. The big fear was suffering a breakage so we couldn’t finish the race.’
The Paralympics was about to start at the time of going to press and Team GB hopes to repeat the success of the Olympic team in the three Paralympic classes. This will be the last time sailing is included in the Paralympic Games after the sport was dropped from the Tokyo 2020 games because of a lack of ‘worldwide reach’. January 2018, although products containing zinc pyrithione will have a later deadline. Manufacturers will also have to ensure that paints are approved by each individual country in which they are to be sold.
The Copper Antifouling Environmental Programme, sponsored by manufacturers of copper for antifouling paints, commented: ‘Copper in various forms has been used historically to protect vessels from fouling, and remains a mainstay ingredient for antifouling paints. Fouling of vessels results in loss of performance, increased fuel consumption, damage to hull surfaces and, most importantly, translocation of invasive species. It is therefore essential that effective, economical and environmentally acceptable antifouling coatings remain available to boat owners.’
Giles Scott was dominant on the waters of Guanabara Bay
Antifoul coatings such as Copper Coat have been approved by the EU
Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark with their gold medals