Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology

, Volume 70, Issue 2, pp 265–288

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

Authors

    • Haereticus Environmental Laboratory
  • Esti Kramarsky-Winter
    • Department of Zoology, George S. Wise Faculty of Life SciencesTel Aviv University
    • Avram and Stella Goldstein-Goren Department of Biotechnology Engineering and the National Institute for Biotechnology in the NegevBen-Gurion University of the Negev
  • Roee Segal
    • Department of Zoology, George S. Wise Faculty of Life SciencesTel Aviv University
  • John Fauth
    • Department of BiologyUniversity of Central Florida
  • Sean Knutson
    • Pacific Biosciences Research CenterUniversity of Hawaii
  • Omri Bronstein
    • Department of Zoology, George S. Wise Faculty of Life SciencesTel Aviv University
  • Frederic R. Ciner
    • Haereticus Environmental Laboratory
  • Rina Jeger
    • Avram and Stella Goldstein-Goren Department of Biotechnology Engineering and the National Institute for Biotechnology in the NegevBen-Gurion University of the Negev
  • Yona Lichtenfeld
    • Department of Life SciencesBen-Gurion University of the Negev
  • Cheryl M. Woodley
    • Hollings Marine LaboratoryU.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
    • Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular ResearchU.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
  • Paul Pennington
    • Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular ResearchU.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
  • Kelli Cadenas
    • National Aquarium
  • Ariel Kushmaro
    • Avram and Stella Goldstein-Goren Department of Biotechnology Engineering and the National Institute for Biotechnology in the NegevBen-Gurion University of the Negev
  • Yossi Loya
    • Department of Zoology, George S. Wise Faculty of Life SciencesTel Aviv University
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00244-015-0227-7

Cite this article as:
Downs, C.A., Kramarsky-Winter, E., Segal, R. et al. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol (2016) 70: 265. doi:10.1007/s00244-015-0227-7

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 µg/L, respectively. The LC50s for oxybenzone in darkness for the same time points were 16.8 mg/L and 779 µg/L. Deformity EC20 levels (24 h) of planulae exposed to oxybenzone were 6.5 µg/L in the light and 10 µg/L in darkness. Coral cell LC50s (4 h, in the light) for 7 different coral species ranges from 8 to 340 µg/L, whereas LC20s (4 h, in the light) for the same species ranges from 0.062 to 8 µg/L. Coral reef contamination of oxybenzone in the U.S. Virgin Islands ranged from 75 µg/L to 1.4 mg/L, whereas Hawaiian sites were contaminated between 0.8 and 19.2 µg/L. Oxybenzone poses a hazard to coral reef conservation and threatens the resiliency of coral reefs to climate change.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015