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Mar Environ Res. 2005 Jun;59(5):435-52.

Imposex and surface sediment speciation: a combined approach to evaluate organotin contamination in Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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Chemistry Department, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


An integrated biological-chemical survey of organotin compounds was carried out in Guanabara Bay, the second most important Brazilian harbor complex. The biological survey revealed high levels of imposex in Stramonita haemastoma populations. Inside the bay values of relative penis length index from 42.7 to 107.6 and vas deferens sequence index from III to VI were found, while organisms collected outside the bay had values ranging from <0.1 to 35.2 and from 0 to II. None of the females sampled inside the bay were normal and imposex was found in all stations. Surface sediments in the bay are contaminated by tributyltin (10-522 ng/g d.w.) and triphenyltin (<3.9-39.4 ng/g d.w.) with greater concentrations close to shipyards and marinas. The observed predominance of parent compounds (TBT and TPT) is commonly found when recent inputs occur, but may also indicate slow degradation processes in the anoxic conditions of these sediments. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a combined imposex-sediment approach to evaluate organotin contamination in marine environments of South America, and also the first report of TPT detection in environmental matrices in this region.

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