Organotin compounds in foods

E Rosenberg, Martin Rose (Editor), Alwin Fernandes (Editor)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter discusses the sources and distribution of organotin compounds (OTCs) in the environment. Due to the intensive use of OTCs as stabilizers for polyvinyl chloride (PVC), as antifouling paint for ship hulls, as wood preservatives, and as fungicides in plant protection, OTCs have entered the hydrosphere. Being present in the water column at low and sub-ppb concentrations, they are strongly enriched in the trophic web and can reach significant ppb concentrations in fish and shellfish (up to 100 ng Sn/g dw in fish and up to 500–1000 ng Sn/g dw in shellfish). Depending on the actual consumption of fish and shellfish in different countries, the individual populations may be at lower or higher risk from the exposure to OTCs through food. While it can be concluded, based on the existing data, that the uptake of OTCs does not exceed the tolerable daily intake (TDI) level for OTCs for the average consumer, particular groups (e.g. children, high consumers of fish and fishery products) may still be at risk. The European Food Safety Authority has adopted a group TDI of 0.25 μg/kg body weight/day for the sum of tributyltin (TBT), dibutyltin (DBT), triphenyltin (TPhT) and dioctyltin (DOcT), based on their similar toxicity and mechanism of action. In the comparison to this, the daily intake of OTCs was estimated, on the basis of various national studies, to be 18 ng/kg bw/day if median concentration values were taken into consideration, or 83 ng/kg bw/day for the group of normal consumers. In the case of high consumers of fish and fishery products, these values approximately doubled to 37 ng/kg bw/day when using the median for the calculation, and 171 ng/kg bw/day when using the mean. In addition to a detailed discussion of the technological uses of OTCs, a short summary of the toxicology and biological effects of OTCs is also given.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPersistent Organic Pollutants and Toxic Metals in Foods
EditorsMartin Rose, Alwyn Fernandes
PublisherWoodhead Publishing
Number of pages46
ISBN (Print)9780857092458
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Environmental Research Institute


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