Experiments on the degradation of tributyltin oxide: A progress report
R J Orsler, G E Holland
A variety of experiments designed to assess the chemical and physical factors affecting the degradation of tributyltin oxide in treated timber are described. Simple procedures in which temperature and oxygen availability were increased in the presence of wood and water suggest that the wood itself was of prime importance. Attempts to decrease degradation with antioxidants were unsuccessful but led to the idea that free radicals may be instrumental in the degradative mechanism. Subsequent work in which a range of antioxidants and free radical producing systems were used confirmed the susceptibility of tributyltin oxide to the action of free radicals. It is suggested that the presence of free radicals in the painted and treated wood system may be an important factor in the eventual degradation of tributyltin oxide.