Molecule of the Week

Tributyltin oxide

February 4, 2008

Tributyltin oxide, or, more formally, bis(tri-1-butyltin) oxide, is a rather nasty substance and a potent biocide. Like most volatile organotin compounds, it can cause ill effects ranging from skin irritation to convulsions. Its main use is as a wood preservative. It was formerly used as a marine anti-biofouling agent, but evidence of toxicity to marine animals led to a worldwide ban by the International Maritime Organization. Other pesticide uses of the compound have also been discontinued.