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Organotin Analysis Essay

Analysis of organotin compounds

ALS offers analysis of organotin compounds mainly by GC- ICP-SFMS (Gas Chromatography coupled with ICP-SFMS). The testing for organotin compounds is accredited for water, soil, sediment, sludge and biota but can also be offered for electronics, textiles, paper, pulp and more. ALS is also proud to offer our clients low LOQ testing of OTC compounds, down to 0.0002 mg/kg, or 0.2µg/kg, dry weight for solid samples.

There are four main groups of organotin compounds; tetra-, tri-, di- and mono-organotin compounds.

Mono-organotin and di-organotin compounds
Monoorganotin compounds and diorganotin compounds are frequently used as stabilizers in the manufacturing of plastics. These compounds are also used as catalysts in the binder of sealants, coatings, adhesives and more.

Apart from dibutyltin (DBT) that may be immunotoxic and have an irritant effect on skin and eyes, mono-organotin and di-organotin compounds are generally characterized by lower toxicity and limited biological activity.

ALS can offer the below testing capabilities for mono-organotin and di-organotin compounds:
Analysis of monobutyltin (MBT)

Analysis of dibutyltin (DBT)
Analysis of monooctyltin (MOT)
Analysis of dioctyltin (DOT)
Analysis of monophenyltin (MPhT)
Analysis of diphenyltin (DPht)

For more information, please see our analytical packages for organotin compounds analysis. 

Tri-organotin compounds
Triorganotin componds are the most toxic organotin compounds used as industrial biocides. The most commonly known source of the toxic tributyltin (TBT) is from its’ use as antifungal agent. It has been used on textiles, paper, wood and as a marine anti-biofouling agent on boats and ships. The use of TBT paint on boats and ships has caused damage to marine life in harbors. Due to the toxicity of triorganotin compounds, they are now banned in large parts of the world.

ALS offers analysis of triorganotin compounds, see list below:

Analysis of tributyltin (TBT)
Analysis of tricyclohexyltin (TCHT)
Analysis of triphenyltin (TPhT)

Please see our analytical packages for tri-organotin compounds analysis here.

Tetra-organotin compounds
Tetra-organic tin compounds do not generally occur in chemicals. The main use of tetra organic tin is as raw material (starting material) for production of other organotin compounds. ALS Scandinavia offers tetrabutyltin analysis. Tetrabutyltin, TTBT, can be measured individually or as part of below analytical packages:

OV-19: Water (freshwater, seawater, wastewater polluted water and more)
OJ-19: Soil, sediment and sludge
OB-19: Biota (plants, shellfish and more)
OE-19: Electronics (PCBs, circuit boards, electronic components and more).
OF-19: Paper and pulp

Follow this link for more information about our analytical packages for organotin compounds analysis.


Organotin compounds are toxic and have long-term persistence in the environment. Consequently very low environmental quality standards are set internationally for tributyltin, the major of substance of concern in water. The fulfilment of these regulatory demands has necessitated the development of highly sensitive and selective analytical techniques for the measurement of these compounds. These developments have been coupled with novel extraction and pre-concentration methods that have the potential to be used with automated on-line procedures. Quantification using isotopically enriched tin standards in mass spectrometric-based techniques have allowed for improvements in robustness and precision of analytical methods. In parallel to these laboratory techniques, there have also been enhancements in monitoring methods, particularly the use of passive samplers. This review gives an overview of organotin compounds in the aquatic environment and current trends for their analysis and monitoring within the context of meeting the statutory regulatory environmental standards for tributyltin.

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