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Investigating the exposure and impacts of chemical UV-filters in coral reef ecosystems: Review and research gap prioritisation

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JournalIntegrated Environmental Assessment and Management
DateAccepted/In press - 15 Mar 2021
DateE-pub ahead of print - 18 Mar 2021
DatePublished (current) - 13 May 2021
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)1-15
Early online date18/03/21
Original languageEnglish


Coral reefs are amongst the world's most productive and biologically diverse ecosystems and in recent decades have experienced an unparalleled decline due to various anthropogenically induced stressors. Ultraviolet (UV) filters found within personal care products such as sunscreen are an emerging chemical pollutant with a growing concern of toxicity to reef organisms. In this study a systematic literature review was conducted to [1] determine the current understanding of spatial distribution and occurrence of UV-filters exposed to the marine environment, [2] synthesise current ecotoxicological thresholds of relevant reef organisms under various UV filter exposures, [3] identify research gaps related to both exposure and toxicity of UV-filters in coral reef ecosystems. With gaps identified, a survey was developed and distributed to experts in the field representing academic, governmental, not-for-profit, and industry researchers in order to prioritise research gaps and inform future research efforts. The survey identified the need for better understanding of the impacts of co-stressors, long-term exposure, mixture and degradation product exposure and realistic environmental conditions. Ultimately, this review, will help guide priority research efforts to understand the risks of UV-filter exposure to coral reef ecosystems. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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