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News and Updates: SETAC Journals

IEAM Call for Papers: Risk Assessment and Management of Sunscreen Use to Protect Aquatic Ecosystems

Tuesday, May 12, 2020  
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Purpose of Special Series

Over-the-counter sunscreen products have been used around the world for nearly 80 years. Yet, the consequences of sunscreen as a source of chemicals introduced to the freshwater and marine ecosystem are poorly understood. The science literature suggests certain sunscreen products, formulations, or ingredients may be harmful to aquatic life. For example, some studies, largely laboratory-based, suggest oxybenzone promotes bleaching, genotoxic effects, and skeletal changes in coral larvae and disruption of endocrine function in fish . Similar studies have prompted several countries to ban or consider banning the sale of sunscreen products or certain product formulations.

In the US, the 2014 Sunscreen Innovation Act instructed the federal government to examine the environmental effects of 16 active ingredients (AI) in sunscreen products: p-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), avobenzone, cinoxate, dioxybenzone, ensulizole, homosalate, meradimate, octinoxate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, padimate O, sulisobenzone, titanium dioxide, trolamine salicylate, and zinc oxide.

Several important questions, however, remain unanswered—what studies and assessment methods are useful for evaluating risks of sunscreen products on aquatic organisms; how can laboratory studies be extrapolated to biota and habitat effects in the aquatic environment; in the absence of complete information, how should concerns about effects on freshwater or marine ecosystems influence coastal protection policies; what work is needed to distinguish environmental effects due to sunscreen ingredients from other stressors; are certain environments, endangered species, other aquatic organisms, or distant ocean environments more or less susceptible than others to the presence of sunscreen products, formulations, or ingredients?

IEAM invites papers describing the current state of knowledge regarding risk assessment of sunscreen products and risk management practices to protect aquatic ecosystems. Scientists and professionals are invited to submit papers describing the environmental research needed to improve current knowledge and answer questions addressing the potential for exposure, effects, and management practices to protect aquatic ecosystems. Papers on environmental management solutions and practices that support trade-offs between protection of human health and ecology when implementing regulatory guidance are invited. Papers may describe new assessment and monitoring methods, management best practices, or scientific research; papers that describe case studies, governmental policies, business strategies, and science-to-policy assessments are also encouraged. Focus on different aspects of this issue at the global, regional, or national level is welcomed. Successful submissions will benefit from international visibility through publication as examples of thought leadership.

Dates to Remember

  • Commitment to participate: 30 June 2020
  • Anticipated publication: Early 2021

Instructions for Submission

Authors intending to participate in the special series must submit a short abstract to the IEAM Editorial Office at Abstracts must include a tentative title, co-authors, and brief description (max. 250 words) of the paper. Upon acceptance, authors will be invited to submit their manuscript as a Brief Communication at

Papers must conform to IEAM author guidelines. Brief Commentaries should not exceed 10 double-spaced pages (including text, tables, and figures). Papers will be independently peer reviewed in accordance with IEAM’s double-blind review process. IEAM is published bimonthly and indexed in Journal Citation Reports and SCOPUS. Address inquires to