A new mussel certified reference material (CRM 477) for the quality control of butyltin determination in the marine environment

R. Morabito, H. Muntau, W. Cofino, Ph. Quevauviller

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The analytical techniques used for the determination of butyltin compounds in biological tissues are generally based on a succession of steps (e.g., extraction, derivatization, separation, detection) which are all prone to systematic errors. An interlaboratory programme performed at the EU level and based on a stepwise approach has enabled one to identify and remove most of these errors and to improve considerably the state of the art so that certification of a mussel reference material has been made possible. This paper describes the preparation of this mussel reference material containing monobutyltin (MBT), dibutyltin (DBT) and tributyltin (TBT), the homogeneity and stability studies and the analytical work performed for the certification of the contents of MBT [Sn(C4H9)3+], DBT [Sn(C4H9J22+] and TBT [Sn(C4H9)3+ ]. The results obtained by a group of expert EU laboratories are discussed along with the methods used to certify the mass fractions (based on dry mass) of monobutyltin (1.50 ± 0.28 mg kg-1as MBT cations), dibutyltin (1.54 ± 0.12 mg kg-1as DBT cations) and tributyltin (2.20 ± 0.19 mg kg-1as TBT cations). The paper also describes an attempt to certify the content of triphenyltin in this material which, although reasonable agreement was found among the participants' results, failed owing to the instability of this compound. This new material will be of great support to ensure the quality control of butyltin determination in shellfish, as carried out in environmental monitoring programmes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75 - 82
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Environmental Monitoring
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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