Approved Abstracts

Assessment of sunscreen toxicity and phosphorus bioavailability using the dinoflagellate Karenia Brevis



Author(s): Departamento de Química Analítica, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y Ambientales, Universidad de Cádiz, Campus Universitario Río San Pedro, 11519, Puerto Real, Spain.; 1. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Biology and Paleo Environment, Palisades, NY 10964, USA./ 2. Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University, NY10964, USA;
Presenter: Araceli Rodríguez Romerol

Commercial sunscreens contain a variety of chemical ingredients that make these cosmetics a complex matrix difficult to manage from analytical and environmental points of view. Some sunscreens have been identified as a potential source of inorganic nutrients, mainly phosphorus, in coastal and marine waters, raising the possibility of algae blooms in oligotrophic waters that receive high sunscreen inputs.
In this work, the dinoflagellate Karenia brevis was exposed to different concentrations (control, low = <1mg L-1, medium = 50-80 mg L-1 and high = 200-220 mg L-1) of two SPF 50 sunscreens with different UV filters (i.e. sunscreen A: 3% avobenzone, 10% homosalate, 4.5% octisalate and 8% octocrylene and sunscreen B: 3.1% titanium dioxide and 4% zinc oxide) for 6 days to determine effects on phytoplankton growth. Prior to exposure, the cultures were grown under P-limited conditions. In vivo chlorophyll fluorescence measured through time was used to estimate exponential growth rates in each treatment. Sunscreen B, containing inorganic UV filters, caused no impacts on growth, while sunscreen A, containing organic UV filters, greatly inhibited growth or caused mortality relative to the control depending on concentration. In addition, to determine the best method for sunscreen exposure in toxicity tests, two different methods of exposure using the “sunscreen A” were compared: sunscreen smear and sunscreen emulsion. At similar concentrations, emulsion addition produced much more negative effects on growth rate than smear additions. There was no evidence that any sunscreen additions relieved P-stress in the cultures.


Keywords: Ultraviolet filters; Toxicity; Dinoflagellate

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