The concentrations of booster compounds were surveyed in the port of Osaka, Japan. The concentrations of Sea-Nine 211, Diuron and Irgarol 1051 in water samples from the port of Osaka were in the ranges <0·30–0·55 ng l−1, 13–350 ng l−1, 1·3–77 ng l−1, respectively. Pyrithiones were not detected in water samples. The levels of Diuron and Irgarol 1051 in the port of Osaka were high in the mooring area for small and medium-hull vessels with poor flushing.
Susceptibility of bacterial populations in estuarine water to antifouling biocides was studied. Sea-Nine 211, Diuron, Irgarol 1051 and Copper pyrithione dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) were added to estuarine water and number of colony forming units (CFU) of bacteria in estuarine water was counted using R2A agar plate. The CFU was not decreased at the concentration less than 1·0 mg/l of Diuron, Irgarol 1051 and Copper pyrithione. However, CFU was decreased at 0·1 mg/l of Sea-Nine 211. Degradation of Sea-Nine 211, Diuron, Irgarol 1051 and Copper pyrithione by bacteria in estuarine water was studied using a die-away method. At an initial concentrations of 0·1 mg/l, observed half-lives of Sea-Nine 211 and Copper pyrithione were 10 and 20 days, respectively. In contrast, Diuron and Irgarol 1051 were degraded scarcely during 60 days of culture.
Photodegradation of these booster biocides by sunlight and UV light were studied. Under UV, all biocides were below detection limit after one day of irradiation. Under sunlight, Copper pyrithiones were also below detection limits after one day. Drastic decrease of Sea-Nine 211 concentration was observed after one day. Diuron and Irgarol 1051 scarcely decreased during 17 days of sunlight irradiation.