Fish and fish products are generally the main source of OCTs from ordinary food according to a new Finnish study.
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.2008.03.017Related studies:
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, Food Addit. Contam., 23/8 (2006) 749-756. DOI: 10.1080/02652030600779908
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7580332 Related EVISA Resources Link-database: All about tin Link-database: Toxicity of organotin compounds Link-database: Use of organotin compounds Link-database: Analytical Methods for the determination of organotin compounds
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last time modified: April 30, 2008