Tributyltin (CAS 688-73-3) has in the past been added to PVC as a stabilizer and to marine paint as an antifouling agent.
Researchers fed pregnant mice tributyltin in their drinking water at qualities allegedly similar to what people might ingest through house dust and other sources. The mice gave birth to pups what developed more and larger fat cells and fattier livers, compared to unexposed pups.
The changes appear to be permanent in that the next two generations of the exposed mice had increased amounts of body and liver fat.
The findings confirmed earlier research indicating that tributyltin affects the function of a gene that regulates body fat production and reprograms certain stem cells to become fat cells rather than bone cells.
The study can be found at http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1205701/.
Because of concern over the toxicity of Tributyltin compounds to aquatic organisms as anti-fouling agents [see, for example, http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=1160629&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D1160629], a worldwide ban on their use was instituted by the International Marine Organization in 2001. The U.S. did not join the Convention until 2012. See http://www.paintsquare.com/news/?fuseaction=view&id=8450.
A description of the environmental fate and transport of Tributyltin in aquatic environments can be found at http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search2/f?./temp/~MjK4TX:1:enex.
Human exposure to Tributyltin and related organotins can occur in a variety of ways. Tributyltin may contaminate particles released by such products as shower curtains, vinyl flooring, carpet fibers, polyurethane foams, mold-resistant paints, and other consumer products, where it is used as an antifungal agent. As a result, noteworthy levels of Tributyltin have been reported in house dust, which may be particularly relevant for young children who can spend significant time on floors and carpets.
Although Tributyltin is now largely banned for use in marine hull paints, as noted, it remains pervasive in the environment, and people can be exposed by ingesting TBT-contaminated seafood. Organotins may also leach into liquids that come into contact with organotin-containing plastic pipes, containers, and packaging materials. See http://news.uci.edu/press-releases/fetal-exposure-to-pvc-plastic-chemical-linked-to-obesity-in-offspring/.