Sunscreen use during recreational activities on a French Atlantic beach: release of UV filters at sea and influence of air temperature


  • Milinkovitch Thomas
  • Vacher Luc
  • Le Béguec Maëlig
  • Petit Emmanuelle
  • Dubillot Emmanuel
  • Grimmelpont Margot
  • Labille Jérôme
  • Tran Damien
  • Ravier Sylvain
  • Boudenne Jean-Luc
  • Lefrançois Christel


  • Sunscreen use
  • UV filters
  • Beach attendance levels
  • Beachgoers’ behaviours
  • Air temperature
  • Octocrylene
  • Avobenzone

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Organic UV filters are emerging contaminants in personal care products such as sunscreens. The toxicity of numerous of these UV filter compounds has been demonstrated in several marine taxa. However, whilst the biological impact has already been largely demonstrated, the anthropogenic drivers leading to UV filter contamination still need to be identified. In this work, a survey was conducted on a site of the French Atlantic Coast (i) to describe beachgoers’ behaviours (sunscreen use and beach frequentation), (ii) provide an estimation of the UV filters released at sea and (iii) highlight the effect of air temperature on these behaviours and on the release of UV filters. In parallel with these estimations of the UV filters released at sea, in situ chemical measurements were performed. By comparing the results of both approaches, this interdisciplinary work provides an insight of how the observations of beachgoers’ behaviour modulations and attendance level fluctuations could be used to prevent UV filter contaminations and ultimately manage the ecotoxicological risk.

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