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Toxicological effects of two organic ultraviolet filters and a related commercial sunscreen product in adult corals

He, Tangtian, Tsui, Mirabelle Mei Po, Tan, Chih Jui, Ma, Chui Ying, Yiu, Sam King Fung, Wang, Li Hsueh, Chen, Te Hao, Fan, Tung Yung, Lam, Paul Kwan Sing, Murphy, Margaret Burkhardt
Environmental pollution 2019 v.245 pp. 462-471
UV filters, active ingredients, adults, bioaccumulation, bioavailability, bleaching, corals, death, filters, mortality, sunscreens, toxicity
Corals are exposed to organic ultraviolet (UV) filters and other personal care product (PCP) ingredients in the environment, but the toxicities of organic UV filters and their related PCP to corals are not well understood. In this study, 7-day exposures were conducted to evaluate the toxicities and bioaccumulation of two organic UV filters, ethylhexylmethoxy-cinnamate (EHMC; octinoxate) and octocrylene (OC) (single- and combined-chemical tests), and diluted sunscreen wash-off water containing both active ingredients to the adult life stage of two hard coral species, Seriatopora caliendrum and Pocillopora damicornis. In the single-chemical tests, death (33.3%) and bleaching (83.3%) were only observed in the 1000 μg/L EHMC treatment of S. caliendrum. In the sunscreen product exposures, 5% sunscreen water (containing 422.34 ± 37.34 μg/L of EHMC and 33.50 ± 7.60 μg/L of OC at Day 0) caused high mortality in S. caliendrum (66.7–83.3%) and P. damicornis (33.3–50%), and tissue concentrations were up to 10 times greater than in the single-chemical exposures; co-exposure to EHMC and OC at similar levels to those in the sunscreen product resulted in bioaccumulation similar to the single-chemical tests. These results confirm the bioaccumulation potential of EHMC and OC and show that other ingredients in sunscreen products may increase the bioavailability of active ingredients to corals and exacerbate the toxicity of sunscreen products. Future studies on the toxicities of PCPs to aquatic organisms should not only focus on the toxicities of active ingredients.