Pollutant Information: 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 27% 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 38% in 1990 and 46% in 2020. 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 2020 has less impact on the tin inventory than for other metals.
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Time series graph