Agent Name

Tin, organic compounds

CAS Number




Major Category



Tin Compounds, Organic


Appearance and odor vary depending upon the specific organic tin compound; [NIOSH]


Used as plastic stabilizers (76%), marine biocides (10%), agricultural biocides (8%), and polyurethane and silicone catalysts (5%); [Ullmann] Organotin compounds include dibutyl and tributyl tin oxides (polymer and rubber catalysts), dioctyl tin (polyvinyl chloride stabilizer), and triphenyl tin (biocide); [Rom, p. 1096]


Organotins are much less toxic when given orally than when given parenterally. In rat experiments, the critical effect is on the immune system for tributyltin compounds and on the CNS for trimethyltin and triethyltin. Toxicity decreases from the tri- to the mono-organotins. Of the trialkyltins, triethyltin and trimethytin are the most toxic. Large alkyl chains reduce toxicity, so that trioctyltin compounds are essentially nontoxic. In mice fed tributyltin oxide by gavage on days 6-15 of gestation, the LOAEL for cleft palate and skeletal abnormalities was 11.7 mg/kg. Liver injury has been reported in a pesticide applicator spraying triphenyltin acetate and in two crop-duster pilots spraying triphenyltin fungicide. [ACGIH] Regarding pregnancy risk, classified as Group D (available data not sufficient for classification); [MAK] "Whereas tributyl- and triphenyltin compounds are almost as toxic as HCN, the monoalkyl compounds have a toxicity similar to that of the inorganic tin compounds." Both tin alkyl and tin aryl compounds can cause CNS injury. Alkyl tin halides like dibutyltin dichloride and tributyltin chloride cause skin irritation, sneezing, and lacrimation. [Ullmann] Alkyl and aromatic tin compounds are neurotoxins and can be immunotoxic and genotoxic; Trisubstituted organic tin compounds are most toxic; In animal experiments, organic tin causes CNS damage, thymus atrophy, and reproductive injury; [Nordberg, p. 1241-76] Dietary intake should be restricted to <0.27 ug/kg bw/day for tributyltin, dibutyltin, dioctyltin, and triphenyltin; [European Commission] Two of the most toxic alkyl tin compounds are trimethyltin and triethyltin. Alkyl tin compounds are neurotoxins that can cause headache, lassitude, visual disturbances, and in severe cases, seizures and coma. Workers with acute organic tin poisoning may also develop severe skin irritation and evidence of renal and hepatic dysfunction. [LaDou, 4th edition, p. 434] Tributyltins, dibutyltins, and other organic tin compounds cause severe burns to the eyes and skin. Triphenyl tin has caused liver damage after occupational exposures. [Sullivan, p. 982-3] See "ORGANOMETALS."

Reference Link


Exposure Assessment
Skin Designation (ACGIH)





0.1 mg/m3, as Sn


0.2 mg/m3, as Sn


0.1 mg/m3, as Sn


0.1 mg/m3, as Sn, inhalable fraction


25 mg/m3, as Sn

Excerpts from Documentation for IDLHs

Patty [1963], Browning [1969], and Deichmann and Gerarde [1969] all indicated that the trialkyltin compounds are generally the most toxic of the organic tin compounds. The only available acute inhalation toxicity data on which to base an IDLH are given by NIOSH [1976] which cited the following mouse LCLO values for trinbutyltin iodide, triethyltin bromide, and trinpropyltin bromide, respectively: 1340 mg/m3, 1640 mg/m3, and 1650 mg/m3 [NDRC 1942]. The LCLO is the lowest concentration of a substance, other than an LC50 in air, that has been reported to cause death in man or to cause death in animals when they have been exposed for 24 hours or less.

Half Life

No reports found; [TDR, p. 1136]

Reference Link

ATSDR - ToxFAQs - Tin

Adverse Effects



Other CNS Neurotoxin


Hepatotoxin, Secondary


Skin Burns

ACGIH Carcinogen

Not Classifiable

Links to Other NLM Databases
Health Studies

Human Health Effects from Hazardous Substances Data Bank:

Toxicity Information


Chemical Information

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Biomedical References

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Related Information in HazMap

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent:


Industrial Processes with risk of exposure:


Activities with risk of exposure: