An environmental risk assessment of three organic UV-filters at Lac Bay, Bonaire, Southern Caribbean


• UV filters oxybenzone and octocrylene are detected at Lac Bay Bonaire.

• They are present at significant levels in both water column and surface microlayer.

• Predicted concentrations of oxybenzone are in line with measured concentrations.

• Risk assessment revealed environmental risk to Lac Bay's ecosystems.


Although organic UV filters (OUVFs) benefit human health by preventing skin burns and cancer, several studies revealed that organic UV filters can induce developmental and reproductive toxicity to aquatic organisms. Discharge of OUVFs occurs predominantly at marine recreational hotspots, such as Lac Bay, Bonaire, and is predicted to increase significantly due to growing tourism worldwide. Unfortunately, there is no insight what the current and future discharge of OUVF at Lac Bay is. Therefore, this study aimed to 1) measure concentrations and estimate the risk of specific OUVFs to different nursery habitats at Lac Bay, and 2) compare measured and predicted concentration based risk assessment outcome. Results showed that at least one of the three nurseries at Lac Bay had a potential for adverse effects. Furthermore, predicted environmental concentrations of UV filter discharge can be applied to gain more insight in the order of extent of OUVF discharge by marine tourism.

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