Copper Antifouling Paints

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In June 2010, the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) placed pesticide products containing the active ingredients copper oxide, copper hydroxide and cuprous thiocyanate and intended for use as antifouling paints (AFP) into reevaluation.

Copper AFP pesticides are used to protect against the accumulation of barnacles, etc. on the underwater surfaces of boats and ships. DPR initiated reevaluation based on findings from a June 2009, DPR report titled, "Monitoring for Indicators of Antifouling Paint Pollution in California Marinas." The report indicates that dissolved copper concentrations in more than half the water samples taken from salt and brackish water marinas exceeded the California Toxics Rule (CTR) chronic water quality standard for copper. Dissolved copper concentrations in about a third of the water samples in these marinas also exceeded the acute standard. Several other marina surveys of Southern California coastal marinas produced similar findings.

In November 2016, DPR issued the proposed regulatory action on copper-based AFP and coatings for a 45-day public comment period. In July 2017, the new copper-based AFP and coatings regulation was filed with the Secretary of State. Effective January 1, 2018, the regulation requires registrants of new copper-based AFP and coating products to submit copper leach rate data using ISO method 10890:2010. Effective July 1, 2018, the regulation established a maximum allowable copper leach rate of 9.5 µg/cm2/day for all copper-based AFP and coating product labeled for use on recreational vessels. In January 2018, DPR concluded copper-based antifouling paint reevaluation.

For more antifoulant paint documents, visit the Surface Water Protection Program Regulatory Issues page.

For content questions, contact:
Andrew Turcotte
1001 I Street, P. O. Box 4015
Sacramento, CA 95812-4015
Phone: (916) 445-4403