The EU is to ban application of tributyltin (TBT) anti-fouling paints to all ships from January. The move anticipates global controls that are being delayed by a failure of countries to ratify a deal struck last year. Organotins are powerful endocrine-disrupting chemicals long known to be toxic to marine life.
Under an International maritime organisation (IMO) convention agreed last October a full global ban on use of organotin anti-fouling systems was supposed to take effect on 1 January 2003 (EED 05/10/01).
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