Testing for Organotin
Organotin compounds have a wide range of uses including in biocides, crop pesticides, as heat stabilisers in PVC and as catalysts. They enter the environment during use, directly in the case of pesticides and indirectly by leaching from PVC products. Furthermore, they get also get into the environment during production and waste phases.
The best known organotin compound is tributyltin (TBT), which is produced and used in large quantities in Europe. Applications include wood preservatives, anti-fouling paint for ships, textiles and paper. TBT enters the environment through leaching out of paint. It accumulates in sediment in ports and along shipping routes. TBT is moderate to very persistent, is bio-accumulative and is found worldwide.
Research has mainly focused on the effects of TBT. This causes imposex in snails, leading to infertility or death.