Skip to main content


Title: Tributyltin in the aquatic environment : final report to the National Rivers Authority September 1990 to September 1992
Author: National Rivers Authority Anglian Region
Document Type: Monograph
Annotation: EA additional title info: Imperial College of science, Technology and Medicine
This report summarises the work undertaken by Imperial College over the past 24 months concerning the fate and distribution of tributyltin and its breakdown products in the aquatic environment. In 1987 the UK government introduced legislation to control the sale of tributyltin (TBT) based paints. Between 1990-1992, a monitoring program of waters and surficial sediments from five estuarine river systems was undertaken for TBT and its degradation products; dibutyltin (DBT) and monobutyltin (MBT). Despite the retail ban on tributyltin based antifouling paints for use on vessels <25m in length, water concentrations exceeded the Environmental Quality Target (EQT) at certain locations, 3-4 years after its implementation. However, since 1991, water column concentrations have declined significandy and most sites now contain concentrations below analytical detection limits (ng I-1). Butyltin concentrations in surficial sediments displayed high spatial variability. Surficial sediment concentrations have generally decreased since 1990, with highly contaminated sites being confined to marinas and boatyard complexes. A survey of the Norfolk Broads was also undertaken during July 1992, incorporating 12 sites from 3 freshwater river systems which had previously been identified as containing elevated loadings of TBT, to determine whether TBT levels had depreciated since the retail ban. Detectable concentrations of TBT within the water column was only observed at Brundall Marina (site L); all other sites were below the level of analytical detection.
Publisher: National Rivers Authority
Publication Date: 1992
Publication Place: London
Subject Keywords: PollutantsWater pollutionChemical compoundsChemical contamination
Geographic Keywords: EA Anglian
Extent: 62; + appendices
Total file downloads: 258

Download PDF    Display PDF in separate tab