• William John Langston
  • Nicholas Dingle Pope

Concern over organotin (OT) bioaccumulation has focused on molluscs due to the effects of TBT and TPT on reproduction and recruitment in this phylum at extremely low concentrations. There have also been concerns because molluscs form an important component of food chains involving humans. Molluscs represent a significant, if variable, concentration step in the transfer of OTs from water (Bioconcentration Factor-BCF ̃102–105) and sediment (BCFsed up to 102) – an attribute which has been harnessed in biomonitoring programmes. Few phyla display comparable abilities for bioconcentration of OTs, which accounts for their sensitivity. However, bioaccumulation is not always simply a function of adsorption of dissolved forms (except at the lowest trophic levels), but may also involve uptake from dietary sources including sediments, and modification by metabolism and excretion, giving rise to much variability. In this chapter we review the pathways and potential for bioaccumulation of OTs in three major classes of the Mollusca, namely gastropods, bivalves and cephalopods. Much of the knowledge gained from studies on OTs will have broader implications – in terms of understanding the processes and timescales of impacts of future persistent contaminants, and, hopefully, in the design of future risk assessment protocols.


Digestive Gland Body Burden Mytilus Edulis Organotin Compound Butyltin Compound 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • William John Langston
    • 1
  • Nicholas Dingle Pope
    • 1
  1. 1.Marine Biological AssociationCitadel HillPlymouth

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