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Occurrence of organotins in the aquatic environment during an operating cycle of the Three Gorges Reservoir, China

Abstract

Organotins (OTs) pollution in the aquatic environment of the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR) was assessed during the reservoir’s operating cycle. Butyltins (BTs) and phenyltins (PhTs) in the water phase and suspended particulate matter (SPM) at different water levels were analysed. It was found that the distribution of OTs in the surface and bottom water phases were similar, with the dominant OTs being BTs at the low water level and PhTs at the high water level. The detection rates and concentrations of OTs in the water phase at the high water level were both higher than those at the low water level, with most OTs being monobutyltin (MBT) at the low water level and monophenyltin (MPhT) at the high water level. The concentrations of OTs in SPM at the low water level were higher than those at the high water level, and BTs, especially dibutyltin (DBT) and tributyltin (TBT), were the predominant OTs whether surface or bottom layer at each water level. The BTs and SPM concentrations had a significant positive relationship in all samples, indicating that the SPM concentration would determine the distribution of BTs in the aquatic environment of the TGR region (TGRR). The difference in the distribution of OTs at the different water levels indicated that the hydrological and hydraulic behaviour of the TGR influences OTs transport in the aquatic environment of the TGRR.

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Acknowledgments

We are grateful to Dr. Fen Jin from Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences for help in OTs analysis.

Funding

This study was financially supported by the Natural Science Foundation Project of CQ CSTC (cstc2017jcyjAX0025, cstc2015jcyjA1271), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21107147), and the foundation of the key laboratory of reservoir aquatic environment of CAS (Chinese Academy of Science) (RAE2014AA04B).

Author information

Correspondence to Jun-min Gao or Yu Shen.

Additional information

Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Cite this article

Gao, J., Chen, X., Sun, X. et al. Occurrence of organotins in the aquatic environment during an operating cycle of the Three Gorges Reservoir, China. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25, 1731–1741 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-0585-y

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Keywords

  • Organotins pollution
  • Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR)
  • Reservoir operation cycle
  • Water phase
  • Suspended particulate matter (SPM)