Studies of butyltin compounds in soil, benthic sediments and the Asian clam Potamocorbula amurensis were conducted at the former Mare Island Naval Shipyard, and nearby Mare Island and Carquinez Straits in San Francisco Bay, California. Soils from a sandblast abrasives dump site at the shipyard contained low concentrations of mono-, di- and tributyltin (0.3-52 ng/g, total butyltin). Similarly, concentrations of total butyltin in benthic sediments from nearby Mare Island and Carquinez Straits ranged from 1.3 to 8.1 ng/g. In contrast, clams accumulated much greater concentrations (152-307 ng/g, total butyltin). Tributyltin (TBT) and dibutyltin (DBT) made up from 54-85% to 15-46%, respectively, of the total butyltin body burden of the clams. Biota Sediment Accumulation Factors (BSAFs) for butyltins in Potamocorbula were in reasonable agreement with literature values; they are greater than those of neutral hydrophobic compounds, suggesting that partitioning and binding processes may be involved in bioaccumulation. Tributyltin is a potent endocrine disrupting chemical. There is potential for long-term chronic effects of TBT in San Francisco Bay.
Additional publication details
Accumulation of butyltins in sediments and lipid tissues of the Asian clam, Potamocorbula amurensis, near Mare Island Naval Shipyard, San Francisco Bay