The bioaccumulation model OMEGA (optimal modelling for ecotoxicological applications) is used to explore accumulation of organotins in the Western Scheldt food chain, consisting of herbi-detritivores, primary and secondary carnivorous fish and a piscivorous bird. Organotins studied are tributyltin (TBT) and triphenyltin (TPT) and the respective di- and mono-organotin metabolites. Empirical elimination rate constants are compared to model predictions for organic substances and metals. It is found that field bioaccumulation ratios are higher than predicted based on elimination kinetics relevant for organic compounds. The results indicate that uptake of organotins mainly occurs via hydrophobic mechanisms, whereas elimination may occur via metal-like kinetics. This results in very low elimination rates, which are comparable to model predictions for metals.
- Elimination kinetics
- Food chain