Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Journal Of Research Of The National Bureau Of Standards
Tributyltin (TBT) is a biocide used in antifouling paints to protect hulls from nuisance organisms such as barnacles, worms and algae. The use of TBT paints has increased over the past decade due to its effectiveness as an antifoulant which is related to its toxicity. Water concentrations of less than 100 ng L- have been shown to harm some aquatic species in laboratory tests and observations in the natural environment indicate that levels below 10 ng L- may be harmful. Tributyltin is bioconcentrated by many species to levels of one thousand, or more, times ambient water concentrations. Sediment-water partitioning coefficients for TBT of 100-10,000 have been reported . The extreme toxicity of TBT challenges the analytical chemist to accurately and precisely determine ambient TBT concentrations in water at or below I ng L' and in sediments and tissue at concentrations ranging from pLg kg-' to mg kg-'.
Huggett, RG; Unger, MA; Espourteille, FA; and Rice, CD, "Determination Of Tributyltin In The Marine-Environment" (1988). VIMS Articles. 1491.