Environmental pollution with antifouling paint particles: Distribution, ecotoxicology, and sustainable alternatives

Fernando G. Torres, Gabriel E. De-la-Torre

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Antifouling paint particles (APPs) are a type of paint particle loaded with toxic biocidal compounds. The present review focused on the current knowledge in respect of the abundance, distribution, and ecotoxicological effects of APPs in the marine environment. Also, the recent advances in nontoxic biobased antifouling paints were discussed as potential alternatives to contemporary marine coatings. The presence of APPs is mainly associated with boat maintenance in boatyards and port areas. Conventional microplastic assessments showed a significant contribution of paint particles to the morphological composition. Moreover, recent ecotoxicological studies demonstrated that environmental concentrations of APPs induce mortality (LC50) in sediment dwellers and macroinvertebrates. Novel biocides from natural sources and biopolymer binders in the formulation of antifouling paints are proposed as potential alternatives to conventional antifouling paints. The toxicity of most natural biocides is negligible to nontargeted species, while biopolymers are expected to prevent the formation of APPs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112529
Pages (from-to)112529
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
StatePublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Biocide
  • Biodegradable
  • Cu
  • Marine
  • Microplastics
  • Toxicity


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