Personal care products are emerging contaminants of concern that have been linked to aquatic health issues. UV filters are one such group of chemicals that have been found in the environment and are potentially toxic to aquatic biota. They may enter the environment in large quantities as UV filters are used in regularly applied products such as sunscreen and cosmetics often shortly before recreational activities. Previous studies addressing the potential risk of UV filters have failed to characterise their fate and persistence within the environment which may lead to flawed risk assessments. This project will address these knowledge gaps by investigating a range of UV filter concentrations in the Australian aquatic environment, exploring their fate spatially and temporally and adding to the body of UV filter toxicity data for marine species. These objectives will be achieved through the monitoring of effluent and surface waters using grab and passive sampling techniques; through investigating UV filter degradation in laboratory experiments and persistence over time in situ as well as toxicity testing on bioassays and marine invertebrates. The integration of these results together with toxicity data in the literature will form a preliminary risk assessment for UV filters in the Australian aquatic environment. This preliminary data can be used to determine whether UV filters are a contaminant requiring further investigation and the direction in which further research should be applied. Globally, increased knowledge on the fate of UV filters in the environment will assist future risk assessments.

Ms Elissa O'Malley, QAEHS PhD Candidate; Confirmation of Candidature


39 Kessels Rd, Coopers Plains QLD 4108
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