Leachate Toxicity

The marine coatings program at NDSU is primarily focused on the development of non-toxic or environmentally friendly technologies. In this regard, it is important to verify that newly developed coating candidates do not release or “leach” any toxic components upon immersion in sea water. After water immersion pre-conditioning, coating plates are incubated in artificial sea water and the resulting extracts are collected. The appropriate marine organisms (e.g. microalgae, bacteria, barnacle nauplii) are then introduced into the coating extracts and monitored for growth or swimming behavior. A reduction in growth or the observation of abnormal swimming behavior is determined to be a consequence of toxic components leaching into the ASW. Coatings that exhibit no adverse effect of their leachates on the marine organisms are then evaluated for their AF/FR surface properties.

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