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Title: Organotin pollution in Malta coastal zone
Authors: Vella, Alfred J.
Mintoff, Bernardette
Axiak, Victor
Galea Agius, Dorita
Cassone, Roberto
Keywords: Organotin compounds
Water -- Pollution -- Malta
Issue Date: 1998
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Citation: Vella, A. J., Mintoff, B., Axiak, V., Agius, D., & Cassone, R. (1998). Organotin pollution in Malta coastal zone. Toxicological and Environmental Chemistry, 67(3-4), 491-510.
Abstract: The speciation of organotins in seawater, surface microlayer and sediments in the marine environment of Malta is described. Concentrations of tributyltin (TBT) in bulk seawater inside the harbours were as high as 0.3 μg Sn L‐1 but were below detection limits (5 ng Sn L‐1) in open sea, 1.6 km offshore. In sediments, TBT levels were highest for the yacht marinas and ranged between 0.03 and 1.5 ug Sn g‐1. Dibutyltin is more common in the surface microlayer than TBT. Diphenyl and monophenyltin were found infrequently in bulk seawater and in sediments. Tetrasubstituted organotins, namely, MenBu(4_n)Sn, where n = 1, 2, and 3, were found frequently in TBT‐contaminated sediments (0.1–9μg Sng‐1), in seawater and in the microlayer where concentrations as high as 140 μg Sn L‐1 (Me3BuSn) were measured. Direct environmental methylation of TBT and that of its debutylated analogues may play a significant role in the geochemical cycling of tin under certain environmental conditions.
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