Organotins are common additives in a wide variety of building products. They have replaced other toxic stabilizers and catalysts—like lead and cadmium—in plastic products, but have their own issues, and are another emerging example of regrettable substitution.
These persistent, bioaccumulative toxicants are found in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) products, including window and door frames, blinds, water pipes, and flooring. They’re also used in polyurethane building products including sealants, spray foam, and adhesives; and in silicone and silyl-terminated polyether sealants. A May 2018 study links a particular organotin (dibutyltin) to obesity and prediabetes. Environmental Health News sums it up saying, “Little is known about the compound—but researchers say exposure is likely widespread and it could be making us fat and susceptible to diabetes.”