The polarographic response of tributyltin (TBT) as the chloride in 0.1 M NH4NO3 at pH 5.3 was examined in a number of cells constructed from materials commonly used in the collection, storage, and analysis of environmental samples. The response per unit concentration was greatest with polycarbonate and least with Perspex. This change is ascribed to significant adsorption of TBT onto the polarographic cell, electrodes, and stirrer. Graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GFAAS) was used to confirm the relative response for polycarbonate, glass, and Perspex. Adsorption was shown to take place on glass in less than 1 min after mixing.