• shareshare
  • link
  • cite
  • add
Powered by OpenAIRE graph
Found an issue? Give us feedback
auto_awesome_motion View all 3 versions
Publication . Article . 2007

Sunscreens cause coral bleaching by promoting viral infections.

Roberto Danovaro; Lucia Bongiorni; Cinzia Corinaldesi; Donato Giovannelli; Elisabetta Damiani; Paola Astolfi; Lucedio Greci; +1 Authors
Open Access
Published: 09 Oct 2007 Journal: Environmental health perspectives, volume 116, issue 4 (issn: 0091-6765, Copyright policy )
Country: Italy

Coral reefs are among the most biologically productive and diverse ecosystems in the world, representing hot spots of marine biodiversity, and directly sustaining half a billion people (Moberg and Folke 1999; Wilkinson 2004). Approximately 60% of coral reefs are currently threatened by several natural and anthropogenic impacts (Hughes et al. 2003; Pandolfi et al. 2003). Over the last 20 years, massive coral bleaching (i.e., loss of symbiotic zooxanthellae hosted within scleractinian corals) has increased dramatically, both in frequency and spatial extent (Hoegh-Guldberg 1999; Hughes et al. 2003; Knowlton 2001). This phenomenon has been associated with positive temperature anomalies, excess ultraviolet (UV) radiation or altered available photo-synthetic radiation, and presence of bacterial pathogens and pollutants (Brown et al. 2000; Bruno et al. 2007; Douglas 2003; Glynn 1996; Jones 2004). Production and consumption of personal care and cosmetic sun products are increasing worldwide, reaching unexpected levels, with potentially important consequences on environmental contamination. The release of these products is also linked with the rapid expansion of tourism in marine coastal areas (Wilkinson 2004). Chemical compounds contained in sunscreens and other personal care products have been demonstrated to reach detectable levels in both fresh and sea-water systems (Daughton and Ternes 1999; Giokas et al. 2007). These compounds are expected to be potentially harmful for the environment; hence, the use of sunscreen products is now banned in a few popular tourist destinations, for example, in marine ecoparks in Mexico, and in some semi-enclosed transitional systems (Xcaret 2007; Xel-ha 2007). Because sunscreens are lipophilic, their UV filters can bioaccumulate in aquatic animals (Giokas et al. 2007) and cause effects similar to those reported for other xenobiotic compounds (Balmer et al. 2005; Daughton and Ternes 1999). Paraben preservatives and some UV absorbers contained in sunscreens have estrogenic activity (Daughton and Ternes 1999; Schlumpf et al. 2004). In addition it has been demonstrated that several sunscreen agents may undergo photodegradation, resulting in the transformation of these agents into toxic by-products (Giokas et al. 2007, and literature therein). Recently, it has also been demonstrated that sunscreens have an impact on marine bacterioplankton (Danovaro and Corinaldesi 2003), but there is no scientific evidence for their impact on coral reefs. To evaluate the potential impact of sun-screen ingredients on hard corals and their symbiotic algae, we conducted several independent in situ studies with the addition of different concentrations of sunscreens to different species of Acropora (one of the most common hard-coral genus), Stylophora pistillata, and Millepora complanata. These studies were performed from 2003 to 2007 in different areas of the world, including the Celebes Sea (Pacific Ocean), the Caribbean Sea (Atlantic Ocean), and the Andaman Sea and the Red Sea (Indian Ocean).

Subjects by Vocabulary

Medical Subject Headings: technology, industry, and agriculture fungi

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Coral reef geography.geographical_feature_category geography Coral bleaching Algae biology.organism_classification biology Anthozoa Ecology Acropora Zooxanthellae Stylophora pistillata Millepora complanata


Animals, Anthozoa, Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Eukaryota, Oceans and Seas, Sunscreening Agents, Symbiosis, Research, bleaching, corals, sunscreens, UV filters, viruses, Coral, Sunscreen, UV filter, Viruse, Animal, Oceans and Sea, Sunscreening Agent, Symbiosi, Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health, Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

36 references, page 1 of 4

Balmer, ME, Buser, HR, Muller, MD, Poiger, T. Occurrence of some organic UV filters in wastewater, in surface waters, and in fish from Swiss lakes. Environ Sci Technol. 2005; 39: 953-962 [OpenAIRE] [PubMed] [DOI]

Brown, BE. The significance of pollution in eliciting the “bleaching” response in symbiotic cnidarians. Int J Environ Pollut. 2000; 13: 392-415 [DOI]

Brown, BE, Dunne, RP, Goodson, MS, Douglas, AE. Marine ecology: bleaching patterns in reef corals. Nature. 2000; 404: 142-143 [OpenAIRE] [PubMed] [DOI]

Bruno, JF, Selig, ER, Casey, KS, Page, CA, Willis, BL, Harvell, CD. Thermal stress and coral cover as drivers of coral disease outbreaks. PLoS Biol. 2007; 5 (6): 1220-1227 [OpenAIRE] [DOI]

Brussard, CPD. Viral control of phytoplankton populations—a review. J Eukaryot Microbiol. 2004; 51: 125-138 [OpenAIRE] [PubMed] [DOI]

Cochran, PK, Kellogg, CA, Paul, JH. Prophage induction of indigenous marine lysogenic bacteria by environmental pollutants. Mar Ecol Prog Ser. 1998; 164: 125-133 [OpenAIRE] [DOI]

Danovaro, R, Corinaldesi, C. Sunscreen products increase virus production through prophage induction in marine bacterioplankton. Microb Ecol. 2003; 45 (2): 109-118 [OpenAIRE] [PubMed] [DOI]

Daughton, CG, Ternes, TA. Pharmaceuticals and personal care products in the environment: agents of subtle change?. Environ Health Perspect. 1999; 107 (suppl 6): 907-938 [OpenAIRE] [PubMed] [DOI]

Davy, SK, Burchett, SG, Dale, AL, Davies, P, Davy, JE, Muncke, C. Viruses: agents of coral disease?. Dis Aquat Org. 2006; 69: 101-110 [OpenAIRE] [PubMed] [DOI]

Douglas, AE. Coral bleaching—how and why?. Mar Poll Bull. 2003; 46 (4): 385-392 [DOI]

Powered by OpenAIRE graph
Found an issue? Give us feedback
Related to Research communities
Download fromView all 4 sources