Advertisement

Acute toxicity testing of TiO2-based vs. oxybenzone-based sunscreens on clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris)

  • Alexandra N. Barone
  • Caitlyn E. Hayes
  • James J. Kerr
  • Ryan C. Lee
  • Denise B. FlahertyEmail author
Research Article

Abstract

Given the prevalence of skin cancer, sunscreens are recommended by dermatologists including the American Academy of Dermatology to protect skin from harmful ultraviolet rays. Unfortunately, this leads to an estimated 14,000 tons of sunscreen entering waterways each year. Many of the chemicals in sunscreens, such as oxybenzone and benzophenone-2, are indicated to have adverse effects on corals and other aquatic life. As an eco-conscious alternative, physical barrier sunscreens, such as non-nano-titanium dioxide (TiO2), have been suggested as a replacement. This study examines the impact of a non-nano-TiO2-based sunscreen over a nationally sold brand of sunscreen containing oxybenzone, on clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris). Animals were evaluated for mortality, swimming behavior, and feeding behavior. Our data indicate that at an exposure level of 100 mg/L oxybenzone-containing sunscreen had a negative impact on mortality, leading to 25% death by the end of the 97-h testing period. Negative impacts on behavior were even more dramatic for the 100 mg/L oxybenzone-containing sunscreen, with 100% of the animals failing to feed over the first 49 h of testing and 100% of animals demonstrating abnormal swimming behavior over the entire testing period. By comparison, the non-nano-(TiO2) sunscreen at 100 mg/L had little (6.7%) negative impact on mortality and feeding. While swimming behavior was disrupted during the first 25 h of testing (26.7% abnormal movement), animals recovered well over the remainder of the testing period (out to 97 h).

Keywords

Non-nano-titanium dioxide Oxybenzone Clownfish Sunscreen Toxicity 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Meredith Alden, Patrick Brophy, Joling Campo, Elizabeth Cournan, Andrew Friedman, Austin Hunter, Sean McKenna, Nicholas Paz, Ellie Sawyer, and Seth Smalley.

Funding

This study was funded by Eckerd College Alumni, Ms. Autumn Blum. The primary funding utilized in this study was provided by Stream2Sea CEO Autumn Blum. The non-nano-titanium dioxide sunscreen products used in testing for this research were also provided by this company. The oxybenzone-based sunscreen was purchased commercially.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

Throughout the duration of this experiment, guidelines provided by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) were followed accordingly. Approval No. FLA16-001.

References

  1. Alamer M, Darbre PD (2018) Effects of exposure to six chemical ultraviolet filters commonly used in personal care products on motility of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells in vitro. J Appl Toxicol 38(2):148–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arvedlund M, Nielsen LE (1996) Do the anemonefish Amphiprion ocellaris (Pisces: Pomacentridae) imprint themselves to their host sea anemone Heteractis magnifica (Anthozoa: Actinidae)? Ethology Int J Behav Biol 102(2):197–211Google Scholar
  3. Chen T-H, Wu Y-T, Ding W-H (2016) UV-filter benzophenone-3 inhibits agonistic behavior in male Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens). Ecotoxicology 25(2):302–309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Coronado M, De Haro H, Deng X, Rempel M, Lavado R, Schlenk D (2008) Estrogenic activity and reproductive effects of the UV-filter oxybenzone (2-hydroxy-4-methoxyphenyl-methanone) in fish. Aquat Toxicol 90(3):182–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Danovaro R, Bongiorni L, Corinaldesi C, Giovannelli D, Damiani E, Astolfi P, Greci L, Pusceddu A (2008) Sunscreens cause coral bleaching by promoting viral infections. Environ Health Perspect 116:441–447CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Downs CA, Kramarsky-Winter E, Fauth JE, Segal R, Bronstein O, Jeger R, Lichtenfeld Y, Woodley CM, Pennington P, Kushmaro A, Loya Y (2014) Toxicological effects of the sunscreen UV filter, benzophenone-2, on planulae and in vitro cells of the coral, Stylophora pistillata. Ecotoxicology 23(2):175–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Downs CA, Kramarsky-Winter E, Segal R, Fauth J, Knutson S, Bronstein O, Ciner F, Jeger R, Lichtenfeld Y, Woodley C, Pennington P, Cadenas K, Kushmara A, Loya Y (2016) 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 US Virgin Islands. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 70(2):265–288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fautin D, Allen G (1992) Field guide to anemonefishes and their host sea anemones. Western Australian Museum, PerthGoogle Scholar
  9. Giaquinto PC, Borges de Sa M, Sugihara VS, Gonsalves BB, Delicio HC, Barki A (2017) Effects of glyphosate-based herbicide sub-lethal concentrations on fish feeding behavior. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 98(4):460–464CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gutiérrez Y, Tomé HVV, Guedes RNC, Oliveira EE (2017) Deltamethrin toxicity and impaired swimming behavior of two backswimmer species. Environ Toxicol Chem 36(5):1235–1242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. House of Representatives Twenty-Ninth Legislature (2017) HB600 HD1Sunscreen; personal care products; oxybenzone; ban. State of Hawaii. http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2017/bills/HB600_HD1_.HTM. Accessed 5 March 2017
  12. Jirova G, Wittlingerova Z, Zimova M, Vikova A, Wittlerova M, Dvorakova M, Jirova D (2016) Bioindicators of wastewater ecotoxicity. Neuro Endocrinol Lett 37(Suppl1):17–24Google Scholar
  13. Kinnberg KL, Petersen GI, Albrektsen M, Minghlani M, Awad S, Holbech B, Green J, Bjerregaard P, Holbech H (2015) Endocrine-disrupting effect of the ultraviolet filter benzophenone-3 in zebrafish, Danio rerio. Environ Toxicol Chem 34:2833–2840CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lee J, Kim S, Park YJ, Moon HB, Choi K (2018) Thyroid hormone-disrupting potentials of major benzophenones in two cell lines (GH3 and FRTL-5) and embryo-larval zebrafish. Environ Sci Technol 52(15):8858–8865CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Medeiros RS, Lopez BA, Sampaio LA, Romano LA, Rodrigues RV (2016) Ammonia and nitrate toxicity to false clownfish Amphiprion ocellaris. Aquac Int 24:985–993CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Neff JM, Ostazeski S, Gardiner W, Stejskal I (2000) Effects of weathering on the toxicity of three offshore Australian crude oils and a diesel fuel to marine animals. Environ Toxicol Chem 19(7):1809–1821CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Sapozhnikova Y, Zubcov E, Zubcov N, Schlenk D (2005) Occurrence of pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and heavy metals in sediments from the Dniester River, Moldova. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 49(4):439–448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Schlumpf M, Cotton B, Conscience M, Haller V, Steinmann B, Lichtensteiger W (2001) In vitro and in vivo estrogenicity of UV screens. Environ Health Perspect 109:239–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Schreurs R, Lanser P, Seinen W, Van der burg B (2002) Estrogenic activity of UV filters determined by an in vitro reporter gene assay and an in vivo transgenic zebrafish assay. Arch Toxicol 76:257–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Volkoff H (2016) The neuroendocrine regulation of food intake in fish: a review of current knowledge. Front Neurosci 10:540CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Eckerd College, Collegium of Natural SciencesSt. PetersburgUSA

Personalised recommendations