The real story behind the International Treaty to ban TBT bottom paint
started in France
. The French are nuts about seafood and shell fish
. They eat shell fish
that I have no name for and cannot find and any book. Many years ago they noticed that the texture/consistancy of the skin membrane in shell fish (e.g. clams) was breaking down and traced it back to TBT. TBT is not toxic or harmful to humans in the quantities used in bottom paint
. But it is disgusting to try to east clams, oysters or other shell fish who have been contaminated by TBT. In Boston, my favorite shellfish places serve up steamers or half shell clams that look like somebody sneezed into the shell. It is disgusting. Needless to say the French were very upset and led the charge to ban the use of TBT paints on all vessels.
- - In the Wikipedia entry I really like this sentence . . . Tributyltin has also been linked to obesity in humans,
. . . .
- - Trouble was nothing worked as well as TBT at keep barnacles
or other foulants off the bottom of vessels. So - as usual - the ban was applied to small vessels - under 25 meters in length with an exception for aluminum
hulls which cannot use copper. All larger vessels, military, etc. said sorry, we are going to continue using it. As with most environmental, etc., movements they only apply to us "little guys" and only in "eco-aware" countries. All other countries could care less and use whatever works the best. That is why it is still sold over the counter in the smaller, independent island countries of the Caribbean and elsewhere.
- - I had a special license
for handling TBT and applying it to boats while I was working in Florida
. Pain in the ass with paperwork and explaining to FRG boat people why they cannot use it while their neighbor with an Aluminum
boat can use it.
- - When you finally cruise
to countries outside the "major eco-aware" first world countries you will find that life is based on what works and is the least expensive rather than "politically correct or eco-correct."
- - Trinidad Boatyard 75 anti-foulant is the best of the "legal" paints to use in the Caribbean for those folks who are sensitive to the environment
and such issues. In northern waters Trinidad is not as effective as other bottom paints, so you need to consult the local boating
population for "really" works in their region.