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Environ Pollut. 1994;84(1):89-92.

Butyltin distribution in a sediment core from Arcachon harbour (France).

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Laboratoire de Photophysique et Photochimie Moléculaire, 351 Cours de la Libération, 33405 Talence, France.


The concentrations of butyltin compounds in water, intertidal sediments and in a sediment core have been measured in the harbour of Arcachon (France) in order to assess the effectiveness of government legislative actions on the use of tributylin (TBT) in marine antifouling paints. The results revealed the occurrence of an increasing TBT gradient from the bottom to the top of the core with a maximum at 15 cm depth, and a slight decrease within the upper 15 cm. It is shown that the TBT levels are still very high in this area and that this compound is not rapidly degraded in sediment as was previously assumed. This leads to the conclusion that even if the regulations have been respected, contamination from resuspended sediments is still likely.

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