SeaNine 211 as antifouling biocide: A coastal pollutant of emerging concern

Lianguo CHEN, Chung Wah James LAM

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65 Citations (Scopus)


SeaNine 211, with 4,5-dichloro-2-n-octyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one (DCOIT) being the biocidal ingredient, is a widely-used antifouling agent to deter the undesirable biofouling phenomenon. It is commercially promoted as an environmentally acceptable antifoulant mainly due to its claimed rapid degradation in marine environment. However, increasing researches document varying degradative kinetics in different environments, proving that SeaNine 211 is actually not degraded equally fast around the world (half-life between < 1 day and 13.1 days). Large-scale application of SeaNine 211 in antifouling coatings has also caused global contamination of marine environment in various compartments. For example, accumulation of SeaNine 211 is detected as high as 3700 ng/L in Spanish seawater and 281 ng/g dry weight in Korean sediment. Considering that SeaNine 211 is highly toxic against non-target marine organisms, environmental risk assessment finds that most marine organisms are endangered by SeaNine 211 in worst-case scenario. Its endocrine disrupting and reproductive impairing effects at environmentally worst-case concentrations further constitute a long-term threat to the maintenance of population stability. Therefore, in the light of the varying degradability, environmental pollution and high toxicity, especially the endocrine disruption, SeaNine 211 as an antifouling agent is likely to cause non-negligible damages to the marine ecosystem. There is an urgency to perform a systematic ecological risk assessment of SeaNine 211 to prevent the potential impacts on the health of marine environment. A regular monitoring also becomes necessary to place the usage of antifouling biocides under control. Copyright © 2017 The Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-79
JournalJournal of Environmental Sciences
Early online dateApr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


Chen, L., & Lam, J. C. W. (2017). SeaNine 211 as antifouling biocide: A coastal pollutant of emerging concern. Journal of Environmental Sciences, 61, 68-79. doi: 10.1016/j.jes.2017.03.040


  • SeaNine 211
  • Antifouling agent
  • Degradation
  • Environmental occurrences
  • Ecological risks
  • Endocrine disruption


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