Butyltins in Surface Sediments of Kyeonggi Bay, Korea

  • Kim, Gi-Beum (Department of Environment Conservation, Ehime University, Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, 10 Ocean Science Circle) ;
  • Tanabe, Shinsuke (Department of Environment Conservation, Ehime University) ;
  • Koh, Chul-Hwan (Department of Oceanography, Seoul National University)
  • Published : 1998.09.30


Forty sediment samples from Kyeonggi Bay, Korea were analyzed for butyltins, including tributyltin (TBT), dibutyltin (DBT), and monobutyltin (MBT) to determine their distribution and source in this area. Total butyltin concentrations in Kyeonggi Bay sediments ranged from 0.8 to 297 ng/g dry wt. with a mean value of 38 ng/g. The highest butyltin concentration was found in the innermost site in Incheon Harbor basin. The mouth of Han River had higher butyltin levels in sediments compared to open ocean. Butyltin levels correlated well with organic carbon content of sediment, but the major factor was the distance from the source area where antifouling paints were used for vessels and marine structures. Butyltin concentrations in the study area were lower than those reported for bays in other parts of the world. Considering the high toxic potential and sediment/water partition coefficient of TBT, further studies are needed to assess its biological effect in the marine ecosystem of Kyeonggi Bay.