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Human exposure to organotin compounds via consumption of fish

(30.04.2008)


Background:

Organotin compounds (OTCs) are a very large class of compounds with widely varying properties and therefore have been used for many different purposes with a global production in the order of 40,000 tons/year in 2003. Mono- and di-substituted compounds such as monobutyltin (MBT), dubutyltin (DBT) or di-n-octyltin (DOT) are used extensively as heat and light stabilizers in the production of PVC and as catalysts in the production of polyurethane and silicone elastomers.
Tri-substituted OTCs, such as tributyltin (TBT) and triphenyltin (TPhT) also have a wide range of uses mostly related to their strong biocidal activity toward aquatic organisms, such as bacteria, fungi, algae, molluscs, and crustaceans. Major applications for these compounds are timber preservation, antifouling paints and pesticides.

The widespread use of OTCs and their high stability has led to entrance into various ecosystems and may also reach humans via food consumption. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has assessed the health risk to consumers associated with exposure to OTCs, and concluded that the most critical toxicological endpoint was immunotoxicity. Due to similarities between different OCTs, a group Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) of 250 ng/kg body weight was established for the sum of TBT, DBT, TPhT and DOT.

Recent studies have shown that fish and fish products are generally the main source of OCTs from ordinary food.


The new study:
The finnish research group measured the concentration of organotin compounds in whole blood of Finnish male fishermen and their family members and investigated the association with age, gender, and fish consumption. Analysis of blood samples was performed by GC-MS after extraction and derivatization with sodium tetraethylborate.

Concentrations were generally low, and only triphenyltin was detected in more than just a few samples (37 out of 300). The average concentration of TPhT in samples were TPhT was detectable was 0.06 µg/L and the highest concentration found was 0.56 µg/L.

Statistical analysis of the results for TPhT revealed a significant association between concentration and age of the consumer and frequency of fish meals.

The researchers concluded that their results give strong support to the hypothesis that fish is the main dietary source of TPhT for humans in Finland.


The new study

Panu Rantakokko, Anu Turunen, Pia K. Verkasalo, Hannu Kiviranta, Satu Männistö, Terttu Vartiainen, Blood levels of organotin compounds and their relation to fish consumption in Finland, Sci. Total Environ.,  2008. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2008.03.017


Related studies:

Manuel A. Azenha, Maria Teresa Vasconcelos, Butyltin Compounds in Portuguese Wines,  J. Agri. Food Chem., 50/9 (2002) 2713-2716.

T. Guérin, V. Sirot, J.-L. Volatier, J.-C. Leblanc, Organotin levels in seafood and its implications for health risk in high-seafood consumers, Sci. Total Environ., 388/1-3 (2007) 66-77. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2007.08.027

K. Kannan, S. Tanabe, R. Tatsukawa, Occurrence of butyltin residues in certain foodstuffs, Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol., 55/4 (1995) 510-516.

Panu Rantakokko, Tiina Kuningas, Katri Saastamoinen, Terttu Vartiainen, Dietary intake of organotin compounds in Finland: A market-basket study, Food Addit. Contam., 23/8    (2006) 749-756. DOI: 10.1080/02652030600779908

A.-I. Sadiki, D.T. Williams, A study on organotin levels in Canadian drinking water distributed through PVC pipes, Chemosphere, 38 (1999) 1541-1548.

M. Toyoda, H. Sakai, Y. Kobayashi, M. Komatsu, Y. Hoshino, M. Horie, Daily dietary intake of tributyltin, dibutyltin, triphenyltin and diphenyltin compounds according to a total diet study in a Japanese population, J. Food Hyg. Soc. Japan, 41 (2000) 280-286.

Taizo Tsuda, Tomohiro Inoue, Mihoko Kojima, Shigeru Aoki, Daily Intakes of Tributyltin and Triphenyltin Compounds from Meals, J. AOAC International, 78/4 (1995) 941-943.


 Related EVISA Resources

EVISA Link-database: All about tin

EVISA Link-database: Toxicity of organotin compounds

EVISA Link-database: Use of organotin compounds

EVISA Link-database: Analytical Methods for the determination of organotin compounds



Related News

EVISA News, September 20, 2007: TBT-ban convention ratified

EVISA News, October 11, 2006: TBT from antifouling paint is still endangering marine life, says WWF

EVISA News, March 29, 2005: Organotins and other toxic chemicals found in household dust across U.S.

EVISA News, November 11, 2004: Source for butyltin compounds in wine


last time modified: April 30, 2008









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