New method to trace toxic compounds

toxic organic compounds of tin, called organotins used as plastic stabilisers, catalysts, preservatives, and anti-fungicides in paints, enter the environment and pose a threat to human health because of their toxicity and long life.

So far, they remained untraced as there was no way to detect organotins in the environment. Now French scientists have found a method that can monitor the paths of these toxic compounds.

The technique, published online in the Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry on January 10, 2007, consists of three steps