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Occurrence, Distribution, and Fate of Organic UV Filters in Coral Communities

† State Key Laboratory in Marine Pollution (SKLMP), Research Centre for the Oceans and Human Health, Shenzhen Key Laboratory for Sustainable Use of Marine Biodiversity, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
‡ Department of Science and Environmental Studies, The Education University of Hong of Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
§ Marine Science Laboratory, School of Life Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
∥ Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2017, 51 (8), pp 4182–4190
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b05211
Publication Date (Web): March 29, 2017


Abstract Image

Organic ultraviolet (UV) filters are widely used in personal care products and occur ubiquitously in the aquatic environment. In this study, concentrations of seven commonly used organic UV filters were determined in seawater, sediment and five coral species collected from the eastern Pearl River Estuary of South China Sea. Five compounds, benzophenone-1, −3, and −8 (BP-1, −3, and −8), octocrylene (OC) and octyl dimethyl-p-aminobenzoic acid (ODPABA), were detected in the coral tissues with the highest detection frequencies (>65%) and concentrations (31.8 ± 8.6 and 24.7 ± 10.6 ng/g ww, respectively) found for BP-3 and BP-8. Significantly higher concentrations of BP-3 were observed in coral tissues in the wet season, indicating that higher inputs of sunscreen agents could be attributed to the increased coastal recreational activities. Accumulation of UV filters was only observed in soft coral tissues with bioaccumulation factors (log10-values) ranging from 2.21 to 3.01. The results of a preliminary risk assessment indicated that over 20% of coral samples from the study sites contained BP-3 concentrations exceeding the threshold values for causing larval deformities and mortality in the worst-case scenario. Higher probabilities of negative impacts of BP-3 on coral communities are predicted to occur in wet season.

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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