Alternative to Copper Paint on Ship's Hulls
For ages, sailors have used copper-based paint to cover their hulls. The copper kills algae, barnacles and other sea creatures that attach themselves to the hull. Basically, it is so poisonous that nothing can withstand it. Unfortunately, the copper eventually washes off the hull and wrecks havoc with marine life. A company called EPaint has developed a copper-free and tin-free alternative called EP-ZO, which is labelled an ablative paint, meaning in continually erodes off the hull. Their line of paint uses a patented formulation that releases hydrogen peroxide to restrain fouling, with additional biocides in some of the formulations. The biocides used are zinc pyrithion, just as is used in dandruff shampoos, and Sea-Nine 211, a biocide with a half-life measured in hours. Some critical reviews of the paint can be found here and here.
According to TownOnline, the product is not new and has its origins in research initially funded by the United States Navy, which correctly foresaw a ban on a tributyl tin (TBT) and sought more environmentally friendly ways to protect its ships.
Current clients include: the U.S. Navy, Army Corps of Engineers, the Coast Guard, the National Park Service and some branches of the Environmental Protection Agency.
[by Justin Thomas]