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Environ Int. 2009 May;35(4):707-11. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2009.01.007. Epub 2009 Feb 7.

TBT pollution and effects in molluscs at US Virgin Islands, Caribbean Sea.

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  • 1National Environmental Research Institute, Department of Marine Ecology, University of Aarhus, Frederiksborgvej 399, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark.


An almost ubiquitous occurrence of imposex and butyltins in the molluscs from US Virgin Islands gives evidence to a widespread contamination with the antifouling agent tributyltin (TBT), which most likely is related to a relatively intense ship traffic. Three different muricid neogastropod species Thais deltoidea, Thais rustica and Purpura patula all seem to have potential as suitable and sensitive bioindicators for assessing levels and effects of TBT pollution in coastal areas including coral reefs in the Caribbean Sea. However, considerable interspecies differences in especially accumulation potential of butyltins were seen in this study. Furthermore, a high accumulation potential of TBT in the edible gastropod West Indian topshell (Cittarium pica) was found, despite that no signs of imposex were observed in this archaeogastropod species.

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