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Tin-Carbon Bonds (Organotin Compounds)

Organotin Compounds

Organotin compounds are chemical compounds that are composed of one or several tin-carbon bonds. There is a wide range of potential applications for organotin compounds, primarily in wood protection agents, antifouling coatings, and plant protection products, which has resulted in these substances entering the environment and subsequently our food chain. Since organotin compounds do not degrade easily, they remain present in the environment for several years, and can even end up in the fish, both marine and freshwater, as well as other marine animals such as shellfish.

Studies on the toxicity of organotin compounds have found that their effects on the immune system and reproductive system (including hormonal effects) are of particular importance. According to the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), if consumers ingest organotin compounds from a variety of products on a daily basis, then their exposure will not be negligible in the worst case.

Known organotin compounds that have been used as pesticides are fentin hydroxide, fentin acetate, and fenbutatin oxide. Whereas fentin hydroxide and fentin acetate were already banned in the European Union (EU) a long time ago, fenbutatin oxide was permitted for use as a plant protection agent until 2014. These three substances were introduced into the soil through agricultural usage, where they were absorbed by the roots of the crops and ultimately entered our food chain. In order to protect consumers, there are still maximum levels valid for fentin hydroxide, fentin acetate, and fenbutatin oxide, since these active agents are still used in some non-EU countries. The maximum levels are provided in the Regulation (EC) No. 396/2005. Additionally, in the German regulation for dietary foods, there is also a maximum level for fentin compounds in agricultural produce that is to be used in the production of infant formula, follow-on formula, cereal-based baby food, and other foods for infants and small children.

The GBA Group carries out the analysis of organotin compounds at the limits of quantification required by the Regulation (EC) No. 396/2005 as well as the regulation for dietary foods, and we are gladly available to serve as your expert partner in this field.



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