Surface-sediment and hermit-crab contamination by butyltins in southeastern Atlantic estuaries after ban of TBT-based antifouling paints
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Butyltin (BT) contamination was evaluated in hermit crabs from 25 estuaries and in sediments from 13 of these estuaries along about 2,000 km of the Brazilian coast. BT contamination in hermit crabs ranged from 2.22 to 1,746 ng Sn g(-1) of DBT and 1.32 to 318 ng Sn g(-1) of TBT. In sediment samples, the concentration also varied widely, from 25 to 1,304 ng Sn g(-1) of MBT, from 7 to 158 ng Sn g(-1) of DBT, and from 8 to 565 ng Sn g(-1) of TBT. BTs are still being found in surface sediments and biota of the estuaries after the international and Brazilian bans, showing heterogeneous distribution among and within estuaries. Although hermit crabs were previously tested as an indicator of recent BT contamination, the results indicate the presence of contamination, probably from resuspension of BTs from deeper water of the estuary.