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Old 17-09-2015, 10:55   #1
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Health risk for anti-fouling?

Last week I was helping a friend clean the bottom of his boat and when I got out of the water I had black anti-fouling on my hands and arms. Took me about 10 mins scrubbing with soap and water to get clean.

That stuff is supposed to be really toxic. Is it a health risk to get it on my skin?
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Old 17-09-2015, 11:10   #2
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Re: Health risk for anti-fouling?

All paints will have a MSDS sheet that identifies the health hazards from exposure to that specific formulation. If you are concerned I would highly recommend reading it. Generally one time skin exposure is not a big deal, but repeded exposures can cause all sorts of issues.

This is the skin exposure exert from Pettit Trinidata SR Blue for instance -

SKIN: Prolonged or repeated contact with the skin can result in defatting and
drying of the skin which may result in skin irritation and dermatitis (rash).
May be absorbed through the skin resulting in systemic effects.
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Old 17-09-2015, 14:56   #3
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Re: Health risk for anti-fouling?

AS long as you didn't lick your hands and arms clean you're okay. Limited exposure is not a problem and it's not really that toxic. Basically it's copper and/or zinc, the stuff that people wear as bracelets to ward off werewolves or whatever and used as a cold/flu preventive.
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Old 17-09-2015, 17:07   #4
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Re: Health risk for anti-fouling?

Not sure about black, but with blue bottom paint you get that smurf thing going on. Probably not so healthy, but once every couple of years shouldn't kill you.

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Old 18-09-2015, 09:54   #5
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Re: Health risk for anti-fouling?

I took all the bottom paint off my boat 11 coats, I had a mast a suit gloves shoes. but I was left a year of daily seizures. they went away but who knows what the long term effect are.
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Old 18-09-2015, 10:41   #6
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Re: Health risk for anti-fouling?

Only problem I ever had was a taste of a penny (copper) in my mouth for several days after.. Ted..
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Old 18-09-2015, 11:20   #7
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Re: Health risk for anti-fouling?

Getting cured paint powder on your skin would be very different from getting "paint", the stuff that's wet in a can and containing solvents, on it.


I'd still cover up as best I could and try to keep the stuff off, but I suspect it would do less harm than sitting downwind of the smoking section in a bar.


Investing $6 in a disposable Tyvek painter's suit, with hood, and putting that on first, would also block a lot of it.
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Old 18-09-2015, 12:04   #8
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Re: Health risk for anti-fouling?

I think many here missed the OP's statement that he was scrubbing the bottom of the boat in the water. There isn't any liquid paint, he wasn't ingesting any, and a tyvek suit with hood would be inadvisable.

OP, you will be just fine. There really isn't any danger from your experience unless you licked it off, as roverhi suggested.

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Old 18-09-2015, 12:33   #9
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Re: Health risk for anti-fouling?

Have the yard do the bottom paint. No muss, no fuss. I don't think you save very much by doing it yourself. As for helping your friend, all I can say is, wish I had a friend who would be willing to do that dirty work for me.
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Old 18-09-2015, 12:45   #10
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Re: Health risk for anti-fouling?

"and a tyvek suit with hood would be inadvisable. "
Mark, I didn't say it would be generally good, proper, suitable or advisable. However, anything that prevents skin contact, will be better than nothing at all.
It isn't the same as a proper dry suit, full face mask, and a proper biohazard decontamination shower afterwards, but it beats scrubbing paint dust out of your skin, hair, and crotch by a long shot.
Keeping the boat in a current and staying upstream of the bloom would accomplish the same thing, but that ain't gonna happen either, is it?
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Old 18-09-2015, 14:13   #11
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Re: Health risk for anti-fouling?

Ok, I did not lick it off, just used soap and water. And about helping a friend - I was crewing for him to help him get from Athens to Sardinia while his wife had to be away. So I pitch in on whatever needs doing. He did the starboard hull and I did the port.

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Old 18-09-2015, 15:56   #12
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Re: Health risk for anti-fouling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Looking4Neptune View Post
That stuff is supposed to be really toxic. Is it a health risk to get it on my skin?
No worries, you'll be fine...

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Old 19-09-2015, 06:18   #13
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Re: Health risk for anti-fouling?

Do not do this.

Anti-fouling paint is designed to kill organisms.

YOU AM ONE.

And you body is dependant on all kinds of good flora.

Claims that you are only at risk if you lick it are COMPLETELY WRONG.

Bathing in cured anti-fouling paint scrapings and fines is extremely hazardous.

Any nick or cut in your skin, any contact with soft tissue (eyes, nose, lungs, and various sphincters, is a point of entry for bacteria).

The anti-fouling paint also at the point of entry can inhibit your bodies immune system to fight the bacteria.

Being in water loaded with anti-fouling paint is extremely hazardous.

Don't do it if your health is important to you.

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Old 19-09-2015, 08:28   #14
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Re: Health risk for anti-fouling?

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Originally Posted by ramblinrod View Post
Being in water loaded with anti-fouling paint is extremely hazardous.

Don't do it if your health is important to you.
...said the guy who obviously has no idea how boat bottoms get cleaned.
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Old 19-09-2015, 09:42   #15
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Re: Health risk for anti-fouling?

If you are a particularly sensitive type or you clean boat bottoms for a living, you probably should look into extra protection.

Wearing a tyvek suit in the water will be akward at best and odds are paint laden water will find it's way in anyway.

As others have said, don't lick it off and you will probably be fine.
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