Butyltin Compounds in River Otters (Lutra canadensis) from the Northwestern United States

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Abstract.

Butyltin compounds, including mono-, di-, and tributyltin (MBT, DBT, and TBT) were measured in livers of 40 adult river otters (Lutra canadensis) collected from rivers and coastal bays in Washington and Oregon, USA. Butyltins were found in all the river otters, at a concentration range of 8.5–2,610 ng/g, WW. The greatest concentration of total butyltins of 2,610 ng/g, WW, was found in a river otter collected in Puget Sound from Fort Ward, Washington. River otters collected near areas with major shipping activities, such as the Puget Sound, contained significantly greater concentrations (geometric mean: 367 ng/g, WW) of butyltins than those from rivers. Among butyltin compounds, MBT and DBT predominated in livers. The concentrations of butyltins in river otters ranged from comparable (Puget Sound) to less (rivers) than what was found in coastal cetaceans.

Received: 9 July 1998/Accepted: 12 November 1998