No More TBT in Bottom Paints

March 2004

In an announcement made in mid-December, the two manufacturers of tributyltin (TBT) biocide (an environmentally harmful additive used in some boat-bottom paints) have voluntarily canceled their pesticide registrations with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The result is that no more TBT will be manufactured for use in marine antifouling paint, and a global treaty agreed to by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to ban the use of TBT-based paints now comes closer to reality. Companies still selling TBT products will now only be able to sell products to clear existing inventories. One major manufacturer, Interlux Yacht finishes, voluntarily ceased sales of TBT-containing paints in 2002. In its place, Interlux offers a fully EPA-approved antifouling paint, Micron 66, a self-polishing, multi-year product that is said to provide boat owners with performance equal to, or better than, paints containing TBT. For more information go to