Organotin contamination in commercial and wild oysters from China: Increasing occurrence of triphenyltin

Chunzhao Chen, Ling Chen, Qinghui Huang, Zhaoying Chen, Wen Zhang

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Organotin contamination in marine environment has been a public concern for many years due to its adverse impacts on biota and human health. This study investigated levels, distribution and health risks of six organotin compounds: tributyltin (TBT), dibutyltin (DBT), monobutyltin (MBT), triphenyltin (TPhT), diphenyltin (DPhT) and monophenyltin (MPhT) in commercial and wild oysters in China. The total organotin in commercial oysters ranged from 251 to 1949 ng Sn g−1 dw (dry weight) >. Two endocrine disruptors TBT and TPhT were detected in these samples with the highest level of 68.1 ± 20.1 ng Sn g−1 dw and 747 ± 7.3 ng Sn g−1 dw, respectively. For wild oysters, the concentrations of total organotins varied from 33.3 to 2671 ng Sn g−1 dw. Butyltins were dominated by TBT with the mean level of 26.1 ± 30.0 ng Sn·g−1 dw and showed no significant spatial variation between the southern and northern coastal zones (p > 0.05). However, compared with the north, phenyltin levels especially TPhT were much higher in the south coastline (246–1484 ng Sn·g−1 dw) due to the wider use of TPhT-based biocides in local mariculture and agriculture. Health risk assessment indicated that a daily exposure of TPhT-contaminated oysters (including commercial and wild ones) may pose adverse threats to human particularly children as the risk quotients (RQ) were higher than 1. Organotin contamination (e.g., TPhT) still occurs in the South China's coastal zones after the TBT ban, which deserves future research and effective measures to protect the marine ecosystem and human health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2527-2534
Number of pages8
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - Feb 10 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


  • Coastal pollution
  • Health risk
  • Organotin
  • Oysters
  • Triphenyltin


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