We determined tributyltin (TBT) concentrations in bivalve samples of blue mussel (Myitlus edulis), Manila clam (Ruditapes philippinarum) and pen shell (Atrina pectinata) collected from coastal areas around northern Kyushu in 1998 and 2001. TBT was detected in all bivalve samples collected, ranging in concentration from 0.008 to 0.135 μg/g wet wt. In Hakata Port, which is an industrial area, high TBT concentrations were detected in bivalves (blue mussel, maximum concentration of 0.135 μg/g wet wt). In the Ariake Sea, which is an important bivalve habitat, TBT concentrations in Manila clams ranged from 0.062 to 0.125 μg/g wet wt in 1998 and from 0.008 to 0.033 μg/g wet wt in 2001. In addition, concentrations of TBT in pen shells collected from the Ariake Sea in 2001 ranged from 0.009 to 0.095 μg/g wet wt. These results clearly demonstrate that, despite the regulation of TBT usage since 1990 in Japan, contamination of bivalves by TBT has persisted in coastal areas around northern Kyushu.
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