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Tetrabutyltin is part of a group of substances called organotins and has the chemical formula (C4H9)4Sn. The substance is used in Canada as a starting material for the synthesis of mono- and dibutyltin compounds for use in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) processing. Tetrabutyltin used in Canada may contain up to 30% tributyltins.

The final follow-up ecological assessment report for non-pesticidal organotin compounds was published by Environment Canada in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on August 8, 2009, under section 68 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999(CEPA1999). This assessment report concluded that tetrabutyltin is entering, or may enter, the environment in a quantity or concentration or under conditions that have or may have an immediate or long-term harmful effect on the environment or its biological diversity, as defined in paragraph 64(a) of CEPA1999.

This assessment also recommended that tetrabutyltin be added to Schedule 1 of CEPA 1999, and the final order pertaining to the addition was published on July 6, 2011.

A Code of Practice for the Management of Tetrabutyltin in Canada (the Code) was published on November 5, 2011 under subsection 54(4) of CEPA 1999 for the purpose of minimizing releases of tetrabutyltin to the aquatic environment by identifying best management procedures and practices for activities involving the import, distribution, manufacture and use of the substance. The notice announcing the availability of the Code was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I on November 5, 2011.

A Ministerial Condition No 13618 for tetrabutyltin was issued on March 26, 2005 by the Minister of the Environment under section 84 of CEPA1999 which imposed restrictions on the use and disposal of this substance to limit its release to the environment. Environment Canada is considering rescinding this Ministerial Condition for tetrabutyltin following the publication of the Code since most of the conditions specified in the Ministerial Condition have been incorporated in the Code.

CAS (Chemical Abstract Service) registry number: 1461-25-2

For more information on organotin substances, please visit the Chemical Substances Website.

Risk Assessment

Risk Management Strategy

Click on the following link to view strategies and actions recommended to manage risks associated with the substance:

Risk Management Tool (s)

Tool(s) developed to manage risks associated with the substance:


Consultation (past and present) on the substance:


Substances Management Information Line
Chemicals Management Plan
Gatineau, QC K1A 0H3
Telephone: 1-800-567-1999 (in Canada) or 819-938-3232
Fax: 819-938-3231

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