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      Organotin pollution at Arraial do Cabo, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil: increasing levels after the TBT ban

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          Abstract

          Imposex, an endocrine disruption phenomenon, is a biomarker of tributyltin (TBT) exposure in marine gastropod populations. The occurrence and intensity of the syndrome in populations of the neogastropod Stramonita haemastoma were ascertained at nine sampling stations in October 2008 at Arraial do Cabo, a very important tourist resort in Rio de Janeiro state (Brazil) and part of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Arraial do Cabo. The results obtained made it possible to evaluate the changes which had occurred since the last biomonitoring campaign, undertaken in 2001, at these same stations. Despite the ban on the use of TBT imposed by the Brazilian Navy in 2003, the controls on the use of this agent in Brazil resulting from the establishment of NORMAM 23 by the Navy in 2007 and the complete ban of organotin compounds in antifouling paint formulae by the IMO on a global scale in 2008, imposex was still detected. Instead of the expected reduction, an increase was observed in the areas affected by imposex. Furthermore, populations in the areas seriously affected by imposex in 2001 were absent in the 2008 sampling campaign. These results suggest an increase in TBT pollution in the study area, indicating the inefficacy of legislative measures.

          Translated abstract

          O imposex, um fenômeno de desregulação endócrina, é um biomarcador da exposição ao tributilestanho (TBT) em populações de gastrópodes marinhos. A ocorrência e intensidade dessa síndrome nas populações do neogastrópode Stramonita haemastoma foram verificadas em nove estações amostrais em outubro de 2008 em Arraial do Cabo, uma área de grande importância turística no Rio de Janeiro (Brasil) e integrante da Reserva Extrativista Marinha de Arraial do Cabo. Com os resultados obtidos foi possível avaliar as alterações ocorridas desde o último biomonitoramento realizado em 2001, nessas mesmas estações. Mesmo após o banimento do TBT pela Marinha do Brasil em 2003, a entrada em vigor dos controles ao uso deste agente com o estabelecimento da NORMAM 23, no Brasil em 2007 pela Marinha, e o banimento completo do TBT nas fórmulas de tintas antiincrustantes pela IMO em escala global, em 2008, o imposex continua a ser detectado. Ao invés de um declínio esperado, observou-se um aumento da extensão das áreas afetadas pelo imposex. Além disso, observou-se a ausência de populações em áreas que em 2001 estavam gravemente afetadas pelo imposex. Esses resultados sugerem um aumento da poluição por TBT na área de estudo, indicando a ineficácia das medidas legislativas.

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          Most cited references 34

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          Critical appraisal of the evidence for tributyltin-mediated endocrine disruption in mollusks

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            A review of organotin regulatory strategies, pending actions, related costs and benefits.

            Achieving consensus on equitable and effective national and global regulation(s) for the use of organotins as biocides in antifouling boat bottom paints has proven to be very complex and difficult for a variety of reasons as discussed in this paper. There appears to be broad agreement among stakeholders about the effectiveness of tributyltin (TBT) in antifouling paints. A draft Assembly Resolution prepared by the Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to propose a global ban on the use of organotins in antifouling paints was approved by the IMO at its 21st regular session (November 1999). In approving the Resolution, the Assembly agreed that a legally binding instrument (global convention--an international treaty) be developed by the Marine Environmental Protection Committee that should ensure by 1 January 2003, a ban on the application of tributyltin (TBT)-based antifouling paints; and 1 January 2008 as the last date for having TBT-based antifouling paint on a vessel. The Assembly also agreed that a diplomatic conference be held in 2001 to consider adoption of the international legal instrument. Monitoring, policing, enforcement, fines and record-keeping are yet to be defined. In addition, the MEPC has also proposed that IMO promotes the use of environmentally-safe anti-fouling technologies to replace TBT. Existing national regulations in the US and Europe have: (1) restricted the use of TBT in antifouling boat bottom paints by vessel size (less than 25 m in length), thus eliminating TBT from the smaller and recreational vessels that exist in shallow coastal waters where the impacted oysters species grow; (2) restricted the release rates of TBT from co-polymer paints; and (3) eliminated the use of free TBT in paints. The present movement toward a global ban suggests that the above regulatory approach has not been sufficient in some countries. Advocates of the ban cite international findings of: (1) higher levels of TBT in surface waters of ports and open waters; (2) imposex still occurring and affecting a larger number of snail species; (3) TBT bioaccumulation in selected fisheries; and (4) the availability of 'comparable' alternatives (to TBT) with less environmental impact. The global ban has been absent of a policy debate on the: (1) lack of 'acceptable and approved' alternatives in many nations; (2) appreciation of market forces in nations without TBT regulations; (3) full consideration of the economic benefits from the use of TBT; (4) 'acceptance' of environmental impacts in marinas, ports and harbors; and (5) realization of the 'real' time period required by ships for antifoulant protection (is 5-7 years necessary or desirable?). Estimates of fuel savings range from $500 million to one billion. In assessing the environmental impact from TBT, there are two sources: the shipyard painting vessels and the painted vessel itself. Today vessels can be painted with regulated or banned antifouling materials by boatyards in a country that does not have TBT regulations and subsequently travel in international and regulated national waters and thus bringing the impact back to the country which was trying to prevent it. Worse, local and national regulations for TBT have proven to be the antithesis of the popular environmental cliché--'Think Globally and Act Locally.' Legislative policies enacted by 'regulated' countries to regulate the use of TBT to protect (their) local marine resources have subsequently had far reaching environmental and economic impacts which have in essence transferred TBT contamination to those countries least able to deal with it. Market forces are selective for cheap labor and cheap environments. 'Unregulated' countries have unknowingly accepted the environmental and human health risks to gain the economic benefits from painting TBT on ships. (ABSTRACT TRUNCATED)
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              Ecotoxicology of organotin compounds.

               K Fent (1995)
              Organotin compounds are ubiquitous contaminants in the environment. The high biological activity of some compounds toward aquatic organisms lead to deleterious impacts in aquatic ecosystems. Here, the aquatic ecotoxicology of organotins is reviewed based on a multidisciplinary approach involving environmental chemical, toxicological, and ecological aspects. Basic results were obtained both with field and laboratory studies, and some of the most important recent results and conclusions are critically reviewed. The contamination of and fate in aquatic systems is reported and linked with effects at different levels of biological organization. Major emphasis is placed on the development of a concept of ecotoxicology that encompasses not only effect assessment alone, but also integrates environmental chemistry with aquatic toxicology. Thereby, the influence of speciation for bioavailability, basic modes of toxic action, and aquatic toxicity are discussed. This case study on organotins allows to a certain extent generalizations to ecotoxicology in general.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                Journal
                bjoce
                Brazilian Journal of Oceanography
                Braz. j. oceanogr.
                Universidade de São Paulo, Instituto Oceanográfico (São Paulo )
                1982-436X
                March 2011
                : 59
                : 1
                : 111-117
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro Brazil
                Article
                S1679-87592011000100008
                10.1590/S1679-87592011000100008
                Product
                Product Information: website
                Categories
                MARINE & FRESHWATER BIOLOGY
                OCEANOGRAPHY

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