Technical Spotlight – Organotins Materials TestingNovember 23, 2015
What are organotin compounds?
Organotin compounds have been used as heat stabilizers in PVC, biocides, wood preservatives, and marine anti-fouling agents. There are 4 classes of organotins with tri-substituted organotin compounds having the most toxic effects on the environment. These compounds are endocrine-disruptors and cause severe reproductive effects in aquatic organisms. There are also concerns in regards to neurotoxic and immunotoxic effects in higher animals.
There are laws banning the use of organotins to prevent the buildup of biological organisms (algae, mollusks, etc.) known as “fouling” on marine vessels. The Navy is required to periodically test for organotins in the waters serving as any home port for their vessels.
Several dioctyltin compounds are approved by the FDA as stabilizers in vinyl chloride plastics used in as indirect food contact additives (21 CFR 178.2650).
Who needs to test of organotins?
Manufacturers and Importers (including supply chain) of products into the EU Articles for either consumer or professional use.
Who is mandated to test for organotins?
The European Commission Decision 2009/425/EC requires:
- Tri-substituted organotin compounds such as tributyltin (TBT) and triphenyltin (TPT) shall not be used after July 1, 2010, in articles where the concentration is greater than 0.1% by weight of tin.
- Dibutyltin (DBT) compounds shall not be used after January 1, 2012, in mixtures or articles where the concentration is greater than 0.1% by weight of tin. Some exemptions on items such as rain gutters, PVC coated fabrics, and adhesives/sealants effective until January 1, 2015.
- Dioctyltin (DOT) compounds shall not be used after January 1, 2012, in articles supplied to or used by the general public where the concentration is greater than 0.1% by weight of tin.