Toxicity of UV filters on marine bacteria: Combined effects with damaging solar radiation


Lozano C, Matallana-Surget S, Givens J, Nouet S, Arbuckle L, Lambert Z & Lebaron P (2020) Toxicity of UV filters on marine bacteria: Combined effects with damaging solar radiation. Science of The Total Environment, 722, Art. No.: 137803.

Organic UV filters are of emerging concern due to their occurrence and persistence in coastal ecosystems. Because marine bacteria are crucial in the major biogeochemical cycles, there is an urgent need to understand to what extent these microorganisms are affected by those chemicals. This study deciphers the impact of five common sunscreen UV filters on twenty-seven marine bacteria, combining both photobiology and toxicity analysis on environmentally relevant species. Seven bacteria were sensitive to different organic UV filters at 1000 μg L−1, including octinoxate and oxybenzone. This is the first report demonstrating inhibition of bacterial growth from 100 μg L−1. None of the UV filters showed any toxicity at 1000 μg L−1 on stationary phase cells, demonstrating that physiological state was found to be a key parameter in the bacterial response to UV-filters. Indeed, non-growing bacteria were resistant to UV filters whereas growing cells exhibited UV filter dependent sensitivity. Octinoxate was the most toxic chemical at 1000 μg L−1 on growing cells. Interestingly, photobiology experiments revealed that the toxicity of octinoxate and homosalate decreased after light exposure while the other compounds were not affected. In terms of environmental risk characterization, our results revealed that the increasing use of sun blockers could have detrimental impacts on bacterioplanktonic communities in coastal areas. Our findings contribute to a better understanding of the impact of the most common UV filters on bacterial species and corroborate the importance to consider environmental parameters such as solar radiation in ecotoxicology studies.

UV filters; Microbial ecotoxicology; Phototoxicity; Marine bacteria

Science of The Total Environment: Volume 722

FundersThe Carnegie Trust
Publication date20/06/2020
Publication date online07/03/2020
Date accepted by journal06/03/2020
PublisherElsevier BV