PBO, along with representatives from the UK’s leading paint manufacturers, attended a meeting at the Southampton Hilton earlier this week to discuss the results of the most comprehensive survey ever undertaken to study the DIY use of antifouling (AF) paints.

Ahead of the possible implementation of EU regulations regarding the safe use of biocides that could restrict the application and use of antifouling paints to professional applicators, the British Coatings Federation (BCF) commissioned a survey.

The results showed that the vast majority of boat owners who participated in the survey, are taking the correct precautions and are well aware of the hazards involved when using these products.

The British Coatings Federation (BCF) Marine Coatings Group launched the survey in September, to acquire information and data to defend the DIY use of these products.

The survey was completed by just under 2,500 boat owners, the vast majority of which paint their own boats with antifouling paint on an annual basis.

It confirmed that over 90% of those boat owners surveyed are well aware of the hazards involved in the application of AF paints, and use the appropriate personal protective equipment accordingly.

It also highlighted several areas where improvements could be made, including the provision of training courses, better guidance on preparing the boat and disposing of waste paint, and further efforts that could be made to minimise the risks of skin contact with AF paint during its application.

BCF members and interested parties discussed ways to proceed with a strategic action plan to work out the next steps to defend the continued use of AF paints by the DIY applicator.

Watch this space and in PBO to find out what you can do to make sure you can continue to apply antifouling yourself, and how to do so in a safe way.