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EPA paint rules help keep New Zealand cleaner

​​1 July 2016
Antifouling paints containing the chemicals diuron, octhilinone and ziram will no longer be imported or made in New Zealand from 1 July 2017.

The move is the result of an Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) reassessment of 60 paint formulations in 2013, when it set new rules that will come into full effect in a year’s time.

The EPA also gave another antifouling paint chemical, thiram, a time-limited approval of 10 years. It means that paint containing this ingredient will no longer be imported or made in New Zealand after 1 July 2023. The ban will not affect stocks still in existence or being used after that date.

“Antifouling, or bottom paints, are specialised coatings applied to the hull of a ship. They can be serious environmental pollutants and we’ve been working to make our environment and waterways cleaner by putting new rules in place and phasing out use of the more harmful active ingredients,” says Ray McMillan, EPA’s Acting General Manager of Hazardous Substances and New Organisms.

“Since 1 July last year all antifouling paints must carry label advice on controls relating to their use and application, as well as information about disposing of old paint from boats, used paint cans, rollers, trays, gloves and coveralls,” says Mr McMillan.

“Anyone who sells or supplies antifouling paints must also ensure this information is on the label.”

Mr McMillan advises: “Before using an antifouling paint you should always read the product label. It lists the ingredients, sets out the precautions you need to take while using it, and how to dispose of it safely and responsibly. Further information, on safe use and storage, is available on the product’s safety data sheet, available from the supplier.”

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The EPA’s role is to decide on applications for the release of hazardous substances under the HSNO Act. We assess the benefits, risks and costs of releasing these to safeguard people and the environment.​

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