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Environmental fate & pathways

Adsorption / desorption

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Description of key information

Tin is generally regarded as being relatively immobile in the environment. However, tin may be transported in water if it partitions to suspended sediments, but the significance of this mechanism has not been studied in detail

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Additional information

Tin in water may partition to soils and sediments. Cations such as Sn2+ and Sn4+ will generally be adsorbed by soils to some extent, which reduces their mobility. Tin is generally regarded as being relatively immobile in the environment (Gerritse et al. 1982; WHO 1980). However, tin may be transported in water if it partitions to suspended sediments (Cooney 1988), but the significance of this mechanism has not been studied in detail. Transfer coefficients for tin in a soil-plant system were reported to be 0.01–0.1 (Senesi et al. 1999).

A bioconcentration factor (BCF) relates the concentration of a chemical in plants and animals to the concentration of the chemical in the medium in which they live. It was estimated that the BCFs of inorganic tin were 100, 1,000, and 3,000 for marine and freshwater plants, invertebrates, and fish, respectively (Thompson et al. 1972). Marine algae can bioconcentrate tin(IV) ion by a factor of 1,900 (Seidel et al. 1980).