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Ecotoxicological Evaluation of Sunscreens on Marine Plankton

Departamento de Ecoloxía e Bioloxía, Universidade de Vigo, E-36310 Galicia, Spain
Grupo Ecotox (EcoCost) ECIMAT, Centro de investigación mariña, Universidade de Vigo, 36331 Galicia, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Enzo Berardesca
Cosmetics 2022, 9(1), 20;
Received: 19 December 2021 / Revised: 17 January 2022 / Accepted: 28 January 2022 / Published: 1 February 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Cosmetics in 2022)
In recent years, a large number of sunscreens have emerged to protect our skin. Most of them are made up of simple or compound aromatic structures, which can pose a threat to marine ecosystems. In order to understand their effects on the marine environment, different ecotoxicological bioassays were carried out using planktonic organisms from three phyla and two different trophic levels: larvae of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, the copepod Acartia tonsa, and the microalga Tisochrysis lutea. The aim of these tests was to expose these organisms to leachates from eight sunscreen formulations. All of them showed a great variability in toxicity on the different plankton organisms. The highest toxicity level was found for cream number 4 when tested on sea urchin, exhibiting an EC50 = 122.4 mg/L. The toxicity of the UV filter 2-phenyl-5-benzimidazolesulfonic acid, exclusively present in that cream, was evaluated in sea urchin, where an EC10 = 699.6 mg/L was obtained under light exposure. According to our results, all tested creams become nontoxic to plankton upon 30,000-fold dilution in seawater; thus, only local effects are expected. This study highlights the need to understand the toxic effects generated by solar protection products, as well as their ingredients, on marine organisms. View Full-Text
Keywords: sunscreens; UV filters; Paracentrotus lividus; Tisochrysis lutea; Acartia tonsa; aquatic toxicity sunscreens; UV filters; Paracentrotus lividus; Tisochrysis lutea; Acartia tonsa; aquatic toxicity
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MDPI and ACS Style

González, M.P.; Vilas, A.; Beiras, R. Ecotoxicological Evaluation of Sunscreens on Marine Plankton. Cosmetics 2022, 9, 20.

AMA Style

González MP, Vilas A, Beiras R. Ecotoxicological Evaluation of Sunscreens on Marine Plankton. Cosmetics. 2022; 9(1):20.

Chicago/Turabian Style

González, María Pilar, Alejandro Vilas, and Ricardo Beiras. 2022. "Ecotoxicological Evaluation of Sunscreens on Marine Plankton" Cosmetics 9, no. 1: 20.

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