Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 196, Issue 1–4, pp 211–224 | Cite as

A Survey of Organotin Compounds in the Northern Adriatic Sea

  • Tadeja Milivojevič Nemanič
  • Radmila Milačič
  • Janez ŠčančarEmail author


The extent of pollution with organotin compounds was investigated in water, sediment and bivalve mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) from the Northern Adriatic Sea. Butyl-, phenyl- and octyltin species were quantified after extraction and derivatisation by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry in a total of 99 samples from the period from 2000 to 2006. The accuracies of the analytical procedures were checked by spiking of unpolluted water samples and by the analysis of standard reference materials (harbour sediment PACS-2 and mussel tissue ERM-CE 477). Among organotin species analysed in samples butyltins were the predominant. Tributyltin was found to be present in the highest concentrations, suggesting its recent input into the marine environment. Butyltins were detected at all sites surveyed (sum of butyltins was up to 718 ng Sn L−1, 3,552 ng Sn g−1 d.w. and 9,991 ng Sn g−1 d.w. in water, sediment and mussel samples, respectively), phenytins in much lower concentrations (up to 31 ng Sn L−1, 326 ng Sn g−1 d.w. and 442 ng Sn g−1 d.w. in water, sediment and mussel samples) and to a much smaller extent, while octyltins were not detected at any location. The spatial distribution of tributyltin was closely related to boating, with the highest concentrations found in marinas (up to 586 ng Sn L−1 for water samples, 1,995 ng Sn g−1 d.w. for sediment and 6,434 ng Sn g−1 d.w. for mussel samples). The temporal distribution clearly indicates a decrease of organotin pollution at all sites.


Organotin compounds Northern Adriatic Sea Water Sediments Mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis



This work was supported by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia within the research programme P1-0143 and project J1-6568.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tadeja Milivojevič Nemanič
    • 1
  • Radmila Milačič
    • 1
  • Janez Ščančar
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Environmental SciencesJožef Stefan InstituteLjubljanaSlovenia

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