Environmental occurrence and hazard of organic UV stabilizers and UV filters in the sediment of European North and Baltic Seas


UV absorbing compounds are of emerging concern due to their large production volumes, their persistence or pseudo-persistence, and their potential adverse effects. This is the first study investigating the environmental occurrence and potential hazard of organic UV stabilizers and UV filters in the North and Baltic Sea surface sediments, including the connecting Skagerrak and Kattegat straits. In total, nineteen substances were identified over the entire study area, including the rarely studied compounds ethylhexyl triazone (EHT) and bisoctrizole (UV-360). Octocrylene (OC) was the predominant compound in this study with regard to detection frequency (79%) and concentrations (up to 9.7 ng/g dw). OC accounted for more than 65% of UV stabilizer contamination in the German Bight. The triazine derivative EHT was quantified in the Rhine-Meuse-Delta and the German Bight in concentrations up to 2.0 ng/g dw. In the Baltic Sea, benzotriazole UV stabilizers accounted for 60% of the contamination, with UV-360 as the main substance. The estimated environmental hazard quotients indicated a negligible impact on benthic and sediment-dwelling organisms in the North and Baltic Seas. Region-specific contamination pattern and riverine influences were revealed. The results suggest that both direct and indirect sources contribute to the UV stabilizer and UV filter contamination in the study area.
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