Occurrence and environmental hazard of organic UV filters in seawater and wastewater from Gran Canaria Island (Canary Islands, Spain)
M. Isabel Cadena-Aizaga, Sarah Montesdeoca-Esponda, Zoraida Sosa-Ferrera, José Juan Santana-Rodríguez
Organic ultraviolet (UV) filters are used in personal care products, but they are also added to industrial products and are constantly released to the environment. This study analyses the occurrence of 8 widely used organic UV filters in seawater from three beaches on the Gran Canaria Island (Spain) and in three wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) by taking samples from influents and effluents. It also discusses the target compounds' post-treatment removal efficiencies. Sampling was carried out
... for 6 months and analytes were extracted by solid phase extraction with Sep-pak C18 cartridges. They were determined by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry in tandem. The potential environmental hazard associated with the found concentrations was also assessed for marine organisms. Different target compounds were detected on the analysed beaches and in the wastewater. Benzophenone-3 (BP3) was the most recurrent compound in the seawater samples (frequency detection of 83%) and also in wastewater influents and effluents (measured in all the samples). However, the highest concentrations for seawater (172 μg L-1) and influent wastewater (208 μg L-1) corresponded to octocrylene, while methylene bis-benzotriazolyltetramethylbutylphenol was the compound most concentrated in secondary treatment effluent (34.0 μg L-1) and BP3 in tertiary treatment effluent (8.07 μg L-1). All the analysed samples showed that at least one target UV filter was present. Regarding the removal efficiencies of these compounds in the studied WWTPs, consistent differences between the target compounds were observed in influent concentration terms, where the average removal rates were higher than 50% for most of the compounds. Conventional treatment is unable to completely remove many studied compounds, while tertiary treatment acts as an additional elimination for some of them. An environmental hazard quotient above 1 was found for octocrylene, benzophenone-3 and 4-methylbenzylidene camphor, which indicates a potential high hazard for living species if these compounds are present.