Fragments of flaking paint have been sampled from eighteen boats (including sailing barges, houseboats, a trawler and a ferry) abandoned on the intertidal mudflats of two estuaries in eastern England and analysed for Cu, Pb and Zn by X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry. Median concentrations of Pb on each boat ranged from about 350 to 35,000 μg g(-1), with individual concentrations exceeding 200,000 μg g(-1) in several cases. Median concentrations of Cu and Zn ranged from about 50 to 1900 μg g(-1) and 50 to 10,000 μg g(-1), respectively, with respective maxima of 172,000 μg g(-1) and 239,000 μg g(-1). Because of peeling paint, local sediment (analysed by ICP following acid digestion) was often measurably contaminated by the metals and, based on median, Al-normalised enrichment factors, in the order Pb>Zn>Cu. Due to its abundance and persistence in old paints, Pb is of greatest concern from both environmental and human health perspectives.



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Sci Total Environ

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School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences


Abandoned boats, Antifouling, Contamination, Metals, Paint, Sediment, England, Environmental Monitoring, Geologic Sediments, Lead, Ships, Water Pollutants, Chemical