Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 127, Issue 1–3, pp 271–282 | Cite as

Organotin Compounds and Selected Metals in the Marine Environment of Northern Adriatic Sea

  • Janez ŠčančarEmail author
  • Tea Zuliani
  • Tom Turk
  • Radmila Milačič
Original Article


The extent of pollution with organotin compounds and Cd, Pb, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cr, Mn, V, Co and Al was investigated in sediments and mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) from the Slovenian costal area of the Northern Adriatic Sea. Sampling was performed in Marina Portorož, Dockyard Izola, non exposed area of the Bay of Mesečev zaliv and in Mariculture Sečovlje. Mussels were taken in the summer and winter time, while sediments were collected during the winter sampling. Organotin compounds were determined by gas chromatography—mass spectrometry and metals by flame or electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry. The accuracies of the analytical procedures were checked by the analysis of standard reference materials CRM 477 mussel tissue and PACS 2 marine sediment (organotin compounds) and SRM 2976 mussel tissue and CRM 320 river sediment (metals). Good agreements between certified and determined values were obtained. Normalization procedure to Al was applied to estimate the anthropogenic inputs of metals in sediments. The analyses of sediments demonstrated moderate pollution with organotin compounds in Marina Portorož and in Dockyard Izola. Concentrations of tributyltin species were higher than those of dibutyltin and monobutyltin. In mussels substantial contamination with tributyltin was observed in Marina Porotrož and Dockyard Izola. The extent of pollution was higher in the winter time. The analysis of metals in sediments exhibited elevated concentrations in Marina Portorož and Dockyard Izola. Data from the normalization procedure indicated the anthropogenic inputs of Cu, Zn and Cr in Marina Portorož and Mn in Bay of Mesečev zaliv and Dockyard Izola. Mussels, as accumulators of pollutants, in general contained higher metal concentrations during winter time in Dockyard Izola.


Metals Mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialisNorthern Adriatic Sea Organotin compounds Sediments Slovenian marine environment 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adami, G., Barbieri, P., Fabiani, M., Piselli, S., Predonzani, S., & Reisenhofer, E. (2002). Levels of cadmium and zinc in hepatopancreas of reared Mytilus galloprovincialis from the Gulf of Trieste (Italy). Chemosphere, 48, 671–677.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. AFS Convention. (2003). International Convention on the control of harmful anti-fouling systems. Report 52: Treaties Tabled in March, 5, 73–81.Google Scholar
  3. Bancon-Montigny, C., Lespes, G., & Potin-Gautier, M. (2000). Improved routine speciation of organotin compounds in environmental samples by pulsed flame ptotometric detection. Journal of Chromatography A, 896, 149–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beiras, R., Bellas, J., Fernández, N., Lorenzo, J.I., & Cobelo-García, A. (2003). Assesment of costal marine pollution in Galicia (NW Iberian peninsula); metal concentrations in seawater, sediments and mussels (Mytilus gallaprovincialis) versus embrio-larval bioassays using Paracentrotus lividus and Ciona intestinalis. Marine Environment Research, 56, 531–553.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Besada, V., Fumega, J., & Vaamonde, A. (2002). Temporal trends of Cd, Cu, Hg, Pb and Zn in mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) from the Spanish North-Atlantic coast 1991–1999. Science of Total Environment, 288, 239–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Campillo, N., Aguinaga, N., Vinas, P., López-García, I., & Hernández-Córdoba, M. (2004). Speciation of organotin compounds in waters and marine sediments using purge-and-trap capillary gas chromatography with atomic emission detection. Analyis of Chimica Acta, 525, 273–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Canadian Sediment Quality Guidelines for the Protection of Aquatic Life (1999).
  8. Carlier-Pinasseau, C., Astruc, A., Lespes, G., & Astruc, M. (1996). Determination of butyl- and phenyltin compounds in biological aterial by gas chromatography-flame photometric detection after ethylation with sodium tetraethylborate. Journal of Chromatography A, 750, 317–325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chase, M.E., Jones, S.H., Hennigar, P., Sowles, J., Harding, G.C.H., Freeman, K., Wells, P.G., Krahforst, C., Coombs, K., Crawford, R., Pederson, J., & Taylor, D. (2001). Gulfwatch: Monitoring Spatial and temporal patterns of trace metal and organic contaminants in the gulf of Maine (1991–1997) with blue mussel Mytilus edulis L. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 42, 491–505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Coelho, M.R., Bebianno, M.J., & Langston, W.J. (2002). Organotin levels in the Ria Formosa lagoon, Portugal. Applied Organometallic Chemistry, 16, 384–390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Commission Directive 2002/62/EC of 9th July 2002 adapting the technical progress for the ninth time Annex I to Council Directive 76/769/EEC on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the member States relating to restrictions on the marketing and use of certain dangerous substances and preparations (organostannic compounds). Official Journal of the European Communities L 183/58, 12.7.2002Google Scholar
  12. Covelli, S., Faganeli, J., Horvat, M., & Brambati, A. (2001). Mercury contamination of coastal sediments as the result of long-term cinnabar mining activity (Gulf of Trieste, northern Adriatic sea). Applied Geochemistry, 16, 541–558.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Da Ros, L., Nasci, C., Marigomez, I., & Soto, M. (2000). Biomarkers and trace metals in the digestive gland of indigenous and transplanted mussels, Mytilus galloprovincialis, in Venice Lagoon, Italy. Marine Environment Research, 50, 417–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Devier, M.H., Augagneur, S., Budzinski, H., Le Menach, K., Mora, P., Narbonne, J.F., & Garrigeus, P. (2005). One-year monitoring survey of organic compounds (PAHs, PCBs, TBT), heavy metals and biomarkers in blue mussels from the Arcachon Bay, France. Journal of Environmental Monitoring, 7, 224–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Faganeli, J., Horvat, M., Covelli, S., Fajon, V., Logar, M., Lipej, L., & Čermelj, B. (2003). Mercury and methylmercury in the Gulf of Trieste (Northern Adriatic Sea). Science of Total Environment, 304, 315–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gallina, A., Magno, F., Tallandini, L., Passaller, T., Caravello, G. U., & Pastore, P. (2000). Simple and effective gas chromatographic procedure for the speciation analysis of organotin compounds in specimens of marine mussels. An evaluation of the organotin pollution of the Lagoon of Venice. Rapid Communication of Mass Spectrometry, 14, 373–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Godoi, A.F.L., Montone, R.C., & Santiago-Silva, M. (2003). Determination of butyltin compounds in surface sediments from the São Paulo State coast (Brazil) by gas chromatography-pulsed flame photometric detection. Journal of Chromatography A, 985, 205–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Harino, H., Fukushima, M., & Kawai, S. (1999). Temporal trends of organotin compounds in the aquatic environment of the Port of Osaka, Japan. Environment Pollution, 105, 1–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hines, M.E., Horvat, M., Faganeli, J., Bonzongo, J.C.J., Barkay, T., Major, E.B., Scott, K.J., Bailey, E.A., Warwick, J.J., & Lyons, W.B. (2000). Mercury biogeochemistry in the Idrija river, Slovenia, from above the mina into the Gulf of Trieste. Environmental Research Section A, 83, 129–139.Google Scholar
  20. Horvat, M., Faganeli, J., Logar, M., Mandič, V., Rajar, R., Širca, A., & Žagar, D. (1999). Mercury in contaminated coastal environments; a case study: the Gulf of Trieste. Science of Total Environment, 237/238, 43–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hoch M. (2001). Organotin compounds in the environment—an overwiev. Applied Geochemistry, 16, 719–743.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kavun, V.Ya., Shulkin, V.M., & Khristoforova, N.K. (2002). Metal accumulation in mussels of the Kuril Islands, north-west Pacific Ocean. Marine Environmental Research, 53, 219–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lalere, B., Szpunar, J., Budzinski, H., Garrigues, P., & Donard, O.F.X. (1995). Speciation analysis for organotin compounds in sediments by capillary gas chromatography with flame photometric detection after microwave-assisted acid leaching. Analyst, 120, 2665–2673.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Milivojevič Nemanič, T., Leskovšek, H., Horvat, M., Vrišer, B., Bolje, A. (2002). Organotin compounds in the marine environment of the Bay of Piran, Notheren Adriatic Sea. Journal of Environment Monitoring, 4, 426–430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Morabito, R., Chiavarini, S., & Cremisini, C. (1995). In quality assurance for environmental analysis. In Ph. Quevauviller, E. A. Maier, & B. Griepink (Eds.), Method evaluation within the measurements and testing programme (BCR) (pp. 435–464). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  26. Odžak, N., Zvonarić, T., Kljaković Gašpić, Z., Horvat, M., & Barić, A. (2000). Biomonitoring of mercury in the Kaštela Bay using transplanted mussels. Science of Total Environment, 261, 61–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Pazos-Capéans, P., Barciela-Alonso, M.C., Bermejo-Barrera, A., & Bermejo-Barrera, P. (2004). Chromium in marine sediment samples from the Ría de Arousa (Galicia, NW of Spain): analysis of the total content in slurries by ETAAS. Analysis of Chimica Acta, 524, 121–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Patricolo, E., Mansueto, C., D'Agati, P., & Pellerito, L. (2001). Organometalic complexes with biological molecules XVI. Endocrine disruption effects of tributyltin chloride on metamorphosis of the ascidian larva. Applied Organometallic Chemistry, 15, 916–923.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Peachey, R. B. J. (2003). Tributyltin and polyciclyc aromatic hydrocarbon levels in Mobile Bay, Alabama: a review. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 46, 1365–1371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Rivaro, P., Frache, R., & Leardi, R. (1997). Seasonal variations in levels of butyltin compounds in mussel tissues samples in an oil port. Chemosphere, 34, 99–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Storelli, M.M., Storelli, A., & Marcotrigiano, G.O. (2001). Heavy metals in the aquatic environment of the Southern Adriatic Sea, Italy. Macroalgae, sediments and benthic species. Environment International, 26,505–509.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Strand, J., Jacobsen, J.A., Pedersen, B., & Granmo, á. (2003). Butyltin compounds in sediment and mollusc from the shipping strait between Denmark and Sweden. Environment Pollution, 124, 7–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Svete, P., Milačič, R., & Pihlar, B. (2001). Partitioning of Zn, Pb and Cd in river sediments from lead and zinc mining area using the BCR three-step extraction procedure. Journal of Environment Monitoring, 3, 586–590.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Szefer, P., Kim, B.S., Kim, C.K., Kim, E.H., & Lee, C.B. (2004). Distribution and coassociation of trace elements in soft tissue and byddus of Mytilus galloprovincialis relative to the surrounding seawater and suspended matter of the southern part of the Korean Peninsula. Environment Pollution, 129, 209–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Šömen Joksič, A., Katz, S.A., Horvat, M., & Milai, R. (2005). Comparison of single and sequential extraction procedures for assessing metal leaching from dredged costal sediments. Water Air and Soil Pollution, 162, 265–283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Wong, C.K.C., Cheung, R.Y.H., & Wong, M.H. (2000). Heavy metal concentrations in green-lipped mussels collected from Tolo Harbour and markets in Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Environment Pollution, 109, 165–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janez Ščančar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tea Zuliani
    • 1
  • Tom Turk
    • 2
  • Radmila Milačič
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental SciencesJožef Stefan InstituteLjubljanaSlovenia
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Biotechnical FacultyUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia

Personalised recommendations