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Butyl Tin Compounds in Mid Michigan Blood

The current issue of Environmental Science and Technology
published by the American Chemical Society (May 15, 1999 issue)
contains an article about the measurement of three different
butyl tin compounds in human blood collected at the Mid Michigan 
Red Cross blood bank.   One of the researchers on the paper is 
John Giesy, a prominent, high-powered MSU environmental toxicologist.

The article claims to be the first research effort on the concentration
of butyltin compounds in human blood.

The tests were done for mono, di and tri-butyl tin coupounds, which 
were found above detection limits in 53, 81 and 70% of the 
blood samples.

Tributyltin is a known Great Lakes toxicant which has been 
used in anti-fouling marine paints and is extremely toxic to 
shellfish.  Mono and dibutyl tins are used as stabilizers and 
catalysts in the production of a variety of consumer products.

Mono and di butyl tins are found in dizper covers made of
polyester fabrics and sanitary napkins made up of nylon and 
polyurethane.   They are found in silicones from their
use as catalysts.   PVC polymers can also contain mono and 
dibutyl tins.   The article mentions a reference to an 
article on detectable concentrations of butyltin compounds in 
water that has flowed through PVC supply water plumbing.
Butyltin compounds are found in fish and shellfish
as well.

The authors say toxicological significance of these occurrances of 
butyl tin compounds is unknown, although the concentrations
detected are below those known to cause interference in 
immune system function.

Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  ajs@sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Technical Review, Public Policy and
Communications on Air, Water and Waste Issues
and Community Environmental Protection

PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039  
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)