Occurrence and Environmental Distribution of 5 UV Filters During the Summer Season in Different Water Bodies

  • S. K. Fagervold
  • A. S. Rodrigues
  • C. Rohée
  • R. Roe
  • M. Bourrain
  • D. Stien
  • P. LebaronEmail author


Organic UV filters are used worldwide in various personal care products as well as textiles, paints, plastic, food, and adhesives. They are main ingredients in sunscreen lotions that are used heavily by beachgoers in the summer season. There is thus an increasing concern regarding the fate of organic UV filters in the environment and their impact on living organisms. Many of the UV filters in use are hydrophobic and are expected to accumulate in the sediment phase in aquatic systems, but this has yet to be validated in situ. We targeted the UV filters benzophenone 3 (BP3), butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane (BMDBM), diethylhexyl butamido triazone (DBT), bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine (BEMT), and methylene bis-benzotriazolyl tetramethylbutylphenol (MBBT) in a freshwater lake and in a coastal bay in order to understand their distribution during summer 2016. Further, we examined their environmental partitioning by collecting samples from the surface water, the sediment phase, and water surface microlayer (SML). We show for the first time the presence of DBT, BEMT, and MBBT in environmental matrices (water, SML, and sediment). Notably, these UV filters were detected at low amounts in surface waters with maximum concentrations of 9.9 ng/L for DBT, 18.4 ng/L for BEMT, and below detection limits for MBBT and somewhat higher concentrations in the SML, with maximum concentrations of 43.3 ng/L for DBT, 5625.4 ng/L for BEMT, and 45.6 ng/L for MBBT. These filters were detected at even greater concentrations in the sediments, with maximum concentrations of 652.6 ng/g for DBT, 115.0 ng/g for BEMT, and 75.2 ng/g for MBBT (dry weight sediment). We also performed controlled laboratory experiments to determine their partitioning behavior, and we verified the actual solubility of many of the filters. This will help in determining the environmental fate and finally lead to a better risk assessment of these compounds. Together, these results corroborate the hypothesis that hydrophobic UV filters accumulate in the sediment phase and highlight the importance of discerning whether these UV filters impact the benthic community and their potential for bioaccumulation.


Aquatic ecosystems Benzophenone 3 (BP3) Butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane (BMDBM) Diethylhexyl butamido triazone (DBT) Bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine (BEMT) Methylene bis-benzotriazolyl tetramethylbutylphenol (MBBT) 



This work was financially supported by the Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmetic Laboratories in France.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11270_2019_4217_MOESM1_ESM.docx (133 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 132 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sorbonne Université, CNRS, Laboratoire de Biodiversité et Biotechnologie Microbiennes, LBBM, Observatoire OcéanologiqueBanyuls-sur-MerFrance
  2. 2.Sorbonne Université, CNRS, Fédération de Recherche, Observatoire OcéanologiqueBanyuls-sur-MerFrance
  3. 3.Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmétique, Centre de Recherche & Développement Pierre FabreToulouseFrance

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