Fate of the sunscreen compound oxybenzone in Cyperus alternifolius based hydroponic culture: Uptake, biotransformation and phytotoxicity

Feiran Chen, Christian Huber, Peter Schröder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

Oxybenzone (OBZ), a common ingredient in sunscreens and personal care products, has been frequently detected in effluents from municipal wastewater treatment plants and also in surface waters. OBZ is an emerging contaminant due to its adverse impacts on marine/aquatic ecosystems. To investigate the removal and degradation capacity of phytotreatment for OBZ, the common wetland plant species Cyperus alternifolius L. was exposed to this compound at 5, 25 and 50 μM for 120 h, respectively. Continuous uptake by roots and accumulation in plant tissues was observed over the exposure time, and depletion of spiked OBZ from the aqueous medium exceeded 73.9 ± 9.1% after 120 h. Similar to its fate in mammalian cells, OBZ is activated in a phase I reaction resulting in the hydroxylated metabolite 2,4-dihydroxybenzophenone (DHB). Independently, two phase II metabolites were identified as oxybenzone-glucoside (OBZ-Glu) and oxybenzone-(6-O-malonyl)-glucoside (OBZ-Mal-Glu) by LC–MS/MS. Formation of these metabolites increased over the experimental period. To our knowledge this is the first time that DHB, OBZ-Glu and OBZ-Mal-Glu are shown to be formed in higher plant tissues. Furthermore, plant defense systems-antioxidative enzymes (SOD, CAT, APOX and POX) were found to be elevated to counteract stress caused by exposure to OBZ. This study presents the huge potential of aquatic plants to cope with benzophenone type UV filters in contaminated water bodies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)638-646
Number of pages9
JournalChemosphere
Volume182
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Oxybenzone
  • Phytodegradation
  • Removal
  • Stress response

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