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Impacts of boat paint chips on the distribution and availability of copper in an English ria

Turner A, Fitzer S & Glegg GA (2008) Impacts of boat paint chips on the distribution and availability of copper in an English ria. Environmental Pollution, 151 (1), pp. 176-181.

Discarded paint chips collected from a leisure boat maintenance facility on the Kingsbridge estuary, SW England, have been fractionated to <63 μm and chemically characterised. At about 16% by weight, Cu was the most abundant metallic component, reflecting its biocidal application in antifouling paint. Bioavailability of Cu in the chips, determined by protein digestion, was about 4%, and sea water leachability was about 8%. Copper concentrations in fractionated intertidal sediment from the estuary were highly variable (<10-460 μg g-1). Specifically, greatest concentrations and greatest variability among replicates were found in samples collected near boat maintenance facilities. Bioavailability of Cu in sediment averaged 7% but was also variable. We attribute Cu "hot spots" to heterogeneous contamination of local sediment by small quantities of paint chips. Contamination may arise directly, from relatively inert particulates, or indirectly, via release of Cu from chips to interstitial waters and its subsequent adsorption to local sediment. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Leisure boats; Paint chips; Copper; Sediment; Estuary

Environmental Pollution: Volume 151, Issue 1

Author(s)Turner, Andrew; Fitzer, Susan; Glegg, Gillian A
Publication date31/01/2008
Publication date online05/04/2007
Date accepted by journal13/02/2007
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