The antifouling (AF) paint model of Kiil et al. [S. Kiil, C.E. Weinell, M.S. Pedersen, K. Dam-Johansen, Analysis of self-polishing antifouling paints using rotary experiments and mathematical modelling, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 40 (2001) 3906-3920] and the simplified biofilm. growth model of Gujer and Warmer [W. Gujer, O. Warmer, Modeling mixed population biofilms, in: W.G. Characklis, K.C. Marshall (Eds.), Biofilms, Wiley-Interscience, New York, 1990] are used to provide a reaction engineering-based insight to the effects of marine microbial slimes on biocide leaching and, to a minor extent, polishing behaviour of AF paints. It is concluded that the perturbation of the local sea water conditions (e.g. pH), as a consequence of the metabolic activity of the biofilm should not affect the net biocide leaching and binder reaction rates significantly. This results from the thin and poorly active biofilms which presumably grow onto the highly effective modern AF paints. According to simulations, the experimental decrease in the biocide leaching rate caused by biofilm growth must be mainly attributed to adsorption of the biocide by the exopolymeric substances secreted by the microorganisms. The effects of biofilms on the leaching of any generic active compound (e.g. natural antifoulants) are discussed in relation to their potential release mechanisms. The largest influence of biofilms is predicted for those active compounds that are released by a diffusion-controlled mechanism (typically tin-free algaecides). (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.