Examination of individual degradation paths (biodegradation and photolysis) of butyltin compounds (especially tributyltin: TBT) in natural waters was performed. Biodegradation of TBT and dibutyltin (DBT) in an unfiltered sea water in summer is rather fast; their half life is about a week. But pretreatment with glass fiber filter makes the half life of TBT much longer (about 80 days). Photolysis of TBT in sea water by sun light is rapid (half life is about 0.5 days), and faster than in distilled water or in fresh water. Degradation rates of each process for TBT are calculated in various conditions of sea water, and contribution rates are compared. Biodegradation will be the main degradation process in an “SS-rich” area such as a marina, but photolysis will exceed that in a “clean” area. Over all half lives of TBT in sea water vary from 6 days to 127 days considering seasons and presence of SS.

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