John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

High tributyltin and imposex levels in the commercial muricid Thais chocolata from two Peruvian harbor areas

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The first appraisal of butyltin (BT) contamination linked with imposex incidence in Peruvian coastal areas was performed in the present study. Imposex occurrence and BT levels in female bodies were analyzed in the rock snail Thais chocolata distributed along 10 sites in areas under the influence of Callao and Chimbote Harbors. Imposex levels associated to high tributyltin (TBT) concentrations were observed in six of 10 studied sites, and the highest imposex levels were seen in gastropods collected near the harbor terminals. Tributyltin concentrations were the highest reported for gastropod mollusks (up to 662 ng Sn g−1) in recent studies. Although TBT‐based antifouling paints have been banned globally (International Maritime Organization, 2008), the combination of high imposex and TBTs level with butyltin degradation index values indicated fresh TBT inputs in these Peruvian coastal areas. Thus, the need to implement local regulatory strategies related to the use of TBT‐free antifouling paints is urgent, as is a thorough assessment of the effectiveness of the TBT global ban. Moreover, the wide distribution of T. chocolata combined with its capability to elicit imposex and bioaccumulate BTs renders this a good sentinel species for TBT contamination along the western South American coast. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2012; 31: 955–960. © 2012 SETAC

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