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Toxicopathological Effects of the Sunscreen UV Filter, Oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3), on Coral Planulae and Cultured Primary Cells and Its Environmental Contamination in Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands

https://www.goesfoundation.com/media/1067/sunscreen-contamination-of-coral-reefs.pdf

Toxicopathological Effects of the Sunscreen UV Filter,Oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3), on Coral Planulae and Cultured Primary Cells and Its Environmental Contamination in Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands

Received: 17 July 2015 / Accepted: 13 September 2015

Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Abstract Benzophenone-3 (BP-3; oxybenzone) is an

ingredient in sunscreen lotions and personal-care products

that protects against the damaging effects of ultraviolet

light. Oxybenzone is an emerging contaminant of concern

in marine environments—produced by swimmers and

municipal, residential, and boat/ship wastewater discharges.

We examined the effects of oxybenzone on the

larval form (planula) of the coral Stylophora pistillata, as

well as its toxicity in vitro to coral cells from this and six

other coral species. Oxybenzone is a photo-toxicant;

adverse effects are exacerbated in the light. Whether in

darkness or light, oxybenzone transformed planulae from a

motile state to a deformed, sessile condition. Planulae

exhibited an increasing rate of coral bleaching in response

to increasing concentrations of oxybenzone. Oxybenzone is

a genotoxicant to corals, exhibiting a positive relationship

between DNA-AP lesions and increasing oxybenzone

concentrations. Oxybenzone is a skeletal endocrine disruptor;

it induced ossification of the planula, encasing the

entire planula in its own skeleton. The LC50 of planulae

exposed to oxybenzone in the light for an 8- and 24-h

exposure was 3.1 mg/L and 139 lg/L, respectively. The

LC50s for oxybenzone in darkness for the same time points

were 16.8 mg/L and 779 lg/L. Deformity EC20 levels

(24 h) of planulae exposed to oxybenzone were 6.5 lg/L in

the light and 10 lg/L in darkness. Coral cell LC50s (4 h, in

the light) for 7 different coral species ranges from 8 to

340 lg/L, whereas LC20s (4 h, in the light) for the same

species ranges from 0.062 to 8 lg/L. Coral reef contamination

of oxybenzone in the U.S. Virgin Islands ranged

Electronic supplementary material The online version of this

article (doi:10.1007/s00244-015-0227-7) contains supplementary

material, which is available to authorized users.

& C. A. Downs

cadowns@haereticus-lab.org

1 Haereticus Environmental Laboratory, P.O. Box 92, Clifford,

VA 24533, USA

2 Department of Zoology, George S. Wise Faculty of Life

Sciences, Tel Aviv University, 69978 Tel Aviv, Israel

3 Avram and Stella Goldstein-Goren Department of

Biotechnology Engineering and the National Institute for

Biotechnology in the Negev, Ben-Gurion University of the

Negev, 84105 Beer Sheva, Israel

4 Department of Biology, University of Central Florida, 4000

Central Florida Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32816-2368, USA

5 Pacific Biosciences Research Center, University of Hawaii,

Honolulu, HI 96822, USA

6 Department of Life Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the

Negev, Beer Sheva 84105, Israel

7 Hollings Marine Laboratory, U.S. National Oceanic &

Atmospheric Administration, 331 Ft. Johnson Rd.,

Charleston, SC 29412, USA

8 Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular

Research, U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric

Administration, 219 Ft. Johnson Rd., Charleston, SC 29412,

USA

9 National Aquarium, 501 East Pratt Street, Baltimore,

MD 21202, USA

123

Arch Environ Contam Toxicol

DOI 10.1007/s00244-015-0227-7

from 75 lg/L to 1.4 mg/L, whereas Hawaiian sites were

contaminated between 0.8 and 19.2 lg/L. Oxybenzone

poses a hazard to coral reef conservation and threatens the

resiliency of coral reefs to climate change

 

About the author

Dr. Howard Dryden

Dr. Howard Dryden

Dr. Dryden has unique knowledge combination of biology, chemistry and technology and is the inventor of the activated, bio-resistant filter media AFM®. Dr. Dryden is one of the world`s leading experts in sustainable water treatment.

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