Seasonal and Diurnal Variation of Organic Ultraviolet Filters from Personal Care Products Used Along the Japanese Coast

  • Kenshi Sankoda
  • Kotaro Murata
  • Mai Tanihata
  • Kengo Suzuki
  • Kei Nomiyama
  • Ryota Shinohara


This study aimed to investigate the behavior of organic ultraviolet (UV) filters released by recreational activities along the Japanese coastline. Seasonal variations of organic UV filters in seawater were investigated at four different recreational beaches (Mogushi, Wakamiya, Tsurugahama, and Otachimisaki beaches) in both summer (July through August) and winter (December). Moreover, short time scale diurnal changes were monitored at Otachimisaki beach in summer. Of the four sunscreen agents tested in this study, two agents—2-ethylhexyl-4-methoxycinnamate (EHMC) and 2-ethylhexyl salicylate (EHS)—were detected in all samples, whereas octyl-dimethyl-p-aminobenzonic acid and 3-(4-methylbenzylidene)-camphor were lower than detection limits. In particular, EHMC, one of the most popular organic UV filters, was dominant. The highest concentration of EHMC was observed at 1,080 ng L−1, a level that exceeds those of previous studies. Both EHMC and EHS concentrations showed significant (p < 0.05) seasonal variations with advancing summer suggesting direct input from recreational activities. The subsequent examination showed short time scale diurnal changes of organic UV filters on the beach. The results showed that diurnal changes in EHMC concentrations were correlated to the number of bathers. EHMC concentrations increased during the afternoon and decreased during the night, although complete attenuation during the night did not occur. EHMC persists along the coast due to low mobility and may persist the next day. This is the first study to show the natural attenuation behavior of organic UV filters along recreational beaches.


Beach Diurnal Variation Artificial Seawater Chemical Abstract Service Recreational Beach 
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We appreciate anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments on this study. We also thank professor Jun Kobayashi (Prefectural University of Kumamoto, Japan), Rumi Tanoue (Center for Marine Environmental Studies, Ehime University, Japan), and all colleagues of the Water Environment Research Laboratory (Prefectural University of Kumamoto) for their great contributions during the sampling campaign.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenshi Sankoda
    • 1
  • Kotaro Murata
    • 1
  • Mai Tanihata
    • 2
  • Kengo Suzuki
    • 1
  • Kei Nomiyama
    • 3
  • Ryota Shinohara
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Environmental and Symbiotic SciencesPrefectural University of KumamotoKumamotoJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of Environmental and Symbiotic SciencesPrefectural University of KumamotoKumamotoJapan
  3. 3.Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES)Ehime UniversityMatsuyamaJapan

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