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Spatial distribution and temporal trends of butyltin compounds (TBT, DBT & MBT) in short sediment cores of the SW Portuguese Shelf (western Iberian Margin, NE Atlantic)
Mil-Homens, M.; Almeida, C. M. R.; Dias, S.; Soares, W.; van Gaever, P.; de Stigter, H.; Santos, M.N.; Santana, A.; Freitas, M.; Abrantes, F.; Caetano, M. (2023). Spatial distribution and temporal trends of butyltin compounds (TBT, DBT & MBT) in short sediment cores of the SW Portuguese Shelf (western Iberian Margin, NE Atlantic). Sci. Total Environ. 900: 165872.
In: Science of the Total Environment. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0048-9697; e-ISSN 1879-1026, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Portuguese shelf; Marine sediments; Butyltin compounds; Temporal variation

Auteurs  Top 
  • Mil-Homens, M.
  • Almeida, C. M. R.
  • Dias, S.
  • Soares, W.
  • van Gaever, P.
  • de Stigter, H., meer
  • Santos, M.N.
  • Santana, A.
  • Freitas, M.
  • Abrantes, F.
  • Caetano, M.

    Spatial patterns and temporal trends of the butyltin compounds tributyltin (TBT), dibutyltin (DBT), and monobutyltin (MBT) were investigated in a set of sediment samples collected along the SW Portuguese continental shelf. This region did not reach the Good Environmental Status (GES) in accordance with the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) during a first evaluation carried out in 2012. Overall, MBT and DBT were the predominant organotin species detected, but high concentrations of TBT were found in and around disposal sites for dredge sludge derived from the dredging in navigation channels, harbours, and shipyard facilities of the Tagus and Sado estuaries. Although Portuguese regulations for monitoring sediment quality in relation to dredging activities consider only PAH, PCB and HCB, they also dictate that other organic contaminants such as butyltin compounds (BTs) should be monitored if suspicion of high values exists, but no action limits are defined for these (MAOTDR, 2007). Without action limits, the monitoring recommendation given in the regulations is not put into practice. Considering their toxicity, BT derivates should be integrated in the legislation, because they represent an environmental threat in the relocation of dredged material, especially when derived from harbour and shipyards areas. Based on this study, we recommend giving more attention to the amounts and impacts of BTs in sediments at dredged material disposal sites (DMDS) and their surroundings. Or even better, in order to be more efficient, monitoring should be done at the source of the dredged materials and not at the sink. In case it is not done, the monitoring of concentrations of TBT (and other BTs) in sediments and organisms, including imposex studies, at all Portuguese sites for disposal of dredged material receiving slightly to strongly contaminated dredged material must be developed.

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