Tin toxicity


  • True tin toxicity is rare, as tin is poorly absorbed in the GI tract (<5%)
  • Inorganic tin does not cross blood-brain barrier
  • Information on effects of toxicity based primarily on animal/in vitro studies and extrapolation from other heavy metals

Clinical Features

  • Inhalation of tin chloride may cause irritation of mucous membranes
  • Occupational exposure to tin oxide has be reported to be associated with a benign pneumoconiosis, stannosis
    • Not associated with fibrosis or loss of pulmonary function
  • Eating canned food from unlacquered tin cans may cause mild GI upset due to irritation from unabsorbed tin

Differential Diagnosis

Heavy metal toxicity



  • Stop exposure
  • Decontaminate if topical exposure
  • Role of chelation not established


See Also

External Links