Total tin and organotin speciation in historic layers of antifouling paint on leisure boat hulls
Journal article, 2017

Despite their ban on small vessels in 1989 in the EU, organotin compounds (OTCs) are still being released into the environment due to their presence in historic paint layers on leisure boats. 23 paint samples scraped from recreational boats from three countries around the Baltic Sea were analyzed for total tin (Sn) and OTCs. Two antifouling paint products were also subjected to the same analyses. A new method for the detection of Sn in paint flake samples was developed and found to yield more accurate results compared to four different acid digestion methods. A new method was also developed for the extraction of OTCs from ground paint flakes. This endeavor revealed that existing methods for organotin analysis of sediment may not have full recoveries of OTCs if paint flakes are present in the sample. The hull paint samples had Sn concentrations ranging from 25 to 18,000 mg/kg paint and results showed that tributyltin (TBT) was detected in all samples with concentrations as high as 4.7 g (as Sn)/kg paint. TBT was however not always the major OTC. Triphenyltin (TPhT) was abundant in many samples, especially in those originating from Finland. Several other compounds such as monobutyltin (MBT), dibutyltin (DBT), tetrabutyltin (TeBT), monophenyltin (MPhT) and diphenyltin (DPhT) were also detected. These could be the result of degradation occurring on the hull or of impurities in the paint products as they were also identified in the two analyzed paint products. A linear correlation (r(2) = 0.934) was found between the total tin content and the sum of all detected OTCs. The detection of tin can therefore be used to indicate the presence of OTCs on leisure boats. (C) 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license.






Organotin compounds


flame-photometric detection


Antifouling paint

Paint particles


Environmental Sciences & Ecology





Maria Lagerström

Stockholm University

Jakob Strand

Aarhus University

B. Eklund

Stockholm University

Erik Ytreberg

Chalmers, Shipping and Marine Technology, Maritime Environmental Sciences

Environmental Pollution

0269-7491 (ISSN) 1873-6424 (eISSN)

Vol. 220 1333-1341

Areas of Advance


Subject Categories

Vehicle Engineering



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