Oral Presentation Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Australasia 2021

Occurrence of organic ultraviolet filters in Port Phillip Bay, Australia. (#124)

Megan Carve 1 , Nav Singh 2 , Timothy L Coggan 2 , Graeme Allinson 1 , Dayanthi Nugegoda 1 3 , Jeff Shimeta 1
  1. School of Applied Science, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000, Australia
  2. Sydney Laboratory Services: Melbourne Branch, ADE Consulting Group, Williamstown North, Victoria, 3016, Australia
  3. AQUEST Research Group, RMIT University, Bundoora, Victoria, 3083, Australia

Organic UV-filters are incorporated in personal care and industrial products to protect against UV damage. They are an important group of emerging contaminants and their presence in the marine environment is a major concern. We developed a salt-induced liquid-liquid extraction method for the analysis of six organic UV-filters in seawater. Calculated recoveries from fortified samples ranged from 84 to 134% and Practical Quantitation Limits ranged from 20 to 50 ng L-1.  Surface water samples were collected from 12 sites in estuaries and near recreational beaches in Port Philip Bay, Australia. Potential environmental risk was assessed using the risk quotient (RQ) method. Three organic UV-filters were detected and were present at five sites. Concentrations ranged from 41 to 750 ng L-1 and varied as follows: 4-Methylbenzylidene camphor (4-MBC) ≈ benzophenone-3 (BP-3, also known as oxybenzone) > butyl-methoxydibenzoylmethane (B-MDM, also known as Avobenzone). The maximum detected concentration of 4-MBC, BP-3, and B-MDM was 587 ng L-1, 750 ng L-1, 243 ng L-1, respectively. The highest total concentration of organic UV-filters was detected at Sorrento Beach rockpools (1465 ng L-1) and Rye Bay Beach (821 ng L-1). No quantifiable levels of benzophenone-1, benzophenone-2, or 2-ethylhexyl 4-methoxycinnamate were recorded. Both BP-3 and 4-MBC had an RQ >1, which suggests that they may pose a risk to biota in the waters studied at the time of sampling. The detected organic UV-filters are sunscreen active ingredients and the observed concentrations reflected the level of recreational beach use. Detection of organic UV-filters and their mixtures in Port Phillip Bay raises concerns over their potential environmental impacts. Results from this study help to identify relevant concentrations for use in environmental risk assessments on the impacts of organic UV-filters on the marine environment.