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Evaluation of the safety of new anti-fouling agents for use in Australian temperate waters

Final Report for the Department of the Environment and Heritage
S Duda, JH Myers and S Hoffman
Victorian Department of Natural Resources and Environment, 2003


5 Summary

6 Future Directions

Future work with these biocides is recommended to involve the investigation of the effects of the degradation products of these parent compounds to Australian biota. As a consequence of natural degradation processes in the aquatic environment, the antifouling biocides produce degradation products that may be more toxic than the many parent compounds. Also the determination of the effects of these biocides in mixtures is highly recommended. These biocides will always occur in conjunction with other agents in the water and their synergistic or antagonistic effects should be evaluated. Obviously an assessment of these two possibilities needs to be addressed to provide a complete assessment of the compounds in the aquatic environment.

The results of this study provide an estimate of the toxic effects of each of these biocides to H. banksii germination and rhizoid elongation and survival of C. insidiosum. There is currently limited information on the toxicity and mechanisms of action of each of these biocides to Australian aquatic flora and fauna. It is therefore recommended that the toxicity be determined to a wider range of aquatic phyla so as a more comprehensive assessment of the environmental impact these biocidal agents have on the Australian marine environment can be made.

7 Acknowledgments

The Australian Government's Natural Heritage Trust is to be acknowledged for the funding made available to undertake this project. Much of the work presented in this report formed part of the 2002 BSc (honours) theses by JHM and SH entitled 'Use of Hormosira banksii (Turner) Desicaine in a Germination Inhibition Bioassay' and 'An Evaluation of New Antifouling Agents for use in Australian Temperate Waters using the Amphipod, Corophium insidiosum' respectively for the School of Ecology & Environment, Deakin University (Victoria, Australia). International Paints (Britain) dealing as Akzo-nobel Paints Ltd in Australia are to be acknowledged for supplying the antifouling paints investigated during this study. Gus Fabris, Bruce Brady and Leanne Gunthorpe provided advice and suggestions during discussions about this project.

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