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Levels of tin and organotin compounds in human urine samples from Iowa, United States

Gadogbe, Manuel, Bao, Wei, Wels, Brian R., Dai, Suzie Y., Santillan, Donna A., Santillan, Mark K., Lehmler, Hans-Joachim
Journal of environmental science and health 2019 v.54 no.9 pp. 884-890
adults, atomic absorption spectrometry, biomarkers, containers, diabetes, dibutyltin, gas chromatography, humans, photometry, pregnant women, tin, tributyltin, urine, Iowa
Exposure to tin in the general US population is near ubiquitous, as determined using urinary tin levels measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Urinary tin levels are associated with chronic health outcomes, such as diabetes; however, it is unclear if these associations are due to the presence of inorganic and organic forms of tin in urine. To address this knowledge gap, levels of total tin and several organotin compounds (OTCs) were measured in convenience urine samples from pregnant women and adults from Iowa, United States. Total tin and OTC levels in urine samples were quantified using ICP-MS and gas chromatography with pulsed flame photometric detection (GC-PFPD), respectively. ICP-MS detected tin in almost all urine samples from both study populations. Low levels of dibutyltin were detected in two out of fifty human urine samples. Importantly, storage of urine samples in plastic containers, but not HNO₃-pretreated glass vials drastically reduced the recoveries of OTCs, in particular, tributyltin. Although their detection frequency is low, exposures to OTC should be considered when studying associations between human exposures to tin compounds and adverse health outcomes; however, urinary OTC levels measured in banked urine samples may not be suitable as biomarkers of OTC exposure.