Imposex reduction and residual butyltin contamination in southern Brazilian harbors

Castro, Ítalo Braga de; Rossato, Martina; Fillmann, Gilberto


The imposex incidence was appraised in South American gastropods, considering thescenario before and after the global ban of tributyltin (TBT). A statistically significant reduction in imposex indexes was observed in Stramonita haemastoma collected in 2006 and 2010 from areas under the influence of four coastal harbors from southern Brazil. This reduction may be because of the effectiveness of the global ban issued by the International Maritime Organization, although the restrictions on TBT-based antifouling paints in Brazil might also have helped. Even so, a residual organotin contamination was still detected in female tissues (levels ranged from 7.6 to 164.9 ng Sn/g for TBT; from <2 to 214.5 ng Sn/g for dibutyltin; from <3.5 to 178.8 ng Sn/g for monobutyltin; and from <1.5 to 53 ng Sn/g for triphenyltin). Thus, although a reduction in imposex and environmental levels of organotins is expected in every ocean worldwide soon after the implementation of national and international restriction regulations, this will depend on the effectiveness of the global TBT ban; the effectiveness of local restrictions on producing, selling, and using TBT-based antifouling paints; and specific characteristics of local sediments, because metabolization rates and sorption/desorption of TBT previously deposited might affect its environmental bioavailability. Therefore, the reduction trend detected in the present study cannot be extrapolated to other Brazilian or South American coastal areas.

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