Pollutant Information: Tin 

About Tin

Category: Heavy metals and base cations

Heavy or prolonged exposure to tin oxide may cause a disease of the lungs called stannosis. Estimates of emissions are very uncertain. Emission factors have been calculated for the combustion of coal and petroleum-based fuels, but data are not available for other potential sources such as some industrial processes. Emissions have fallen by 14% since 1990.  This relatively modest decline compared with other metals is largely because the main source of tin emissions is estimated to be refinery processes which have remained a significant contributor to the UK inventory over the entire period.  The contribution to UK totals from this source was 36% in 1990 and 53% in 2016.    Coal combustion contributed only 19% of UK emissions of tin in 1990, much less than for most other metals, so the large reduction in UK coal use between 1990 and 2016 has less impact on the tin inventory than for other metals.

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Time series graph