Butyltins in water, biofilm, animals and sediments of the west coast of India
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Biofilm, fish, oyster, mussel, clam, surface seawater, suspended particulate matter (SPM), and sediment samples were collected from marine and/or estuarine waters of the west coast of India. These samples were analysed for butyltin derivatives such as dibutyltin (DBT)and tributyltin (TBT). The concentrations DBT plus TBT varied between 2.4 and 8.3, 163 and 363 ng/l, 5 and 2853 ng/g drywt in the SPM, seawater and sediment samples, respectively, of the Marmugao harbour, Goa, India. The values of DBT plus TBT ranged between 0.60 and 29,123 and 242 ng/l and 1.4 and 65 ng/g drywt in SPM, water and sediment samples, respectively, collected from the Mandovi estuary. In the Dona Paula Bay the DBT plus TBT varied from 10 to 89 ng/l in surface seawater, and TBT from 10 to 513 ng/g in biofilm samples. For the coastal sediment samples the concentration of DBT plus TBT ranged between 36 and 133 ng/g drywt of sediment. For the animal samples the DBT plus TBT ranged between 58 and 825 ng/g drywt of the tissue. Mussel tissues contained the highest amount of DBT plus TBT (825 ng/g drywttissue), whereas highest TBT concentration was recorded in the oyster (732 ng/g drywt). TBT was generally the most abundant butyltin compound in most of the samples suggesting fresh inputs and/or less degradation of TBT. A wide range of the observed butyltin concentrations suggests the presence of localized areas of contamination. Leaching of tributyltin-containing antifouling paints from the ocean going ships, shing and recreational boats, barges, and the inputs of TBT from the Goa shipyard and dry dock facility situated in the harbour are the probable sources of the DBT and TBT in the samples of the west coast of India. Higher levels of TBT were observed in biofilm relative to that in the surrounding seawater. When fed on TBT contaminated biofilm of the diatom Navicula subinflata, butyltin concentrations in the clam Paphia malabarica increased over the period of feeding suggesting the importance of biofilm in the transfer of butyltins to higher group of organisms.
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