The ultraviolet filter 3-benzylidene camphor adversely affects reproduction in fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas)

Petra Y Kunz, Thomas Gries, Karl Fent
Toxicological Sciences: An Official Journal of the Society of Toxicology 2006, 93 (2): 311-21
The ultraviolet (UV) filter 3-benzylidene camphor (3BC) is used in personal care products and in a number of materials for UV protection. 3BC has been shown in vitro and in vivo in fish to be estrogenic, but possible effects on fertility and reproduction are unknown. In this study we evaluate whether 3BC affects reproduction of fish Pimephales promelas. After a preexposure period of 21 days, reproductively mature fathead minnows were exposed to increasing concentrations of 3BC for 21 days in a static-renewal procedure. Actual 3BC concentrations decreased to 23% of initial levels and median concentrations were 0.5, 3, 33, 74, and 285 microg/l. 3BC affected reproduction in a dose-dependent manner with weak effects on fecundity at 3 microg/l, a significant decrease at 74 microg/l, and a cessation of reproduction at 285 microg/l. 3BC was accumulated in fish with an average bioconcentration factor of 313 +/- 151. Dose-dependent demasculinization in secondary sex characteristics of male fish and dose-dependent induction of plasma vitellogenin occurred, which was significant at 74 microg/l and higher. 3BC had a profound and dose-dependent effect on the histology of gonads of male and female fish at 3 microg/l and higher. At 74 and 285 microg/l, oocyte and spermatocyte development was inhibited in male and female gonads. Testes of exposed males had much fewer spermatogenic cysts, and ovaries of exposed females had much fewer mature but more atretic, follicles. This study shows significant effects of the UV filter 3BC on fertility, gonadal development, and reproduction of fish after short-term exposure that may have negative consequences on the population level.

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