Footprints in the sand - Assessing the seasonal trends of volatile methylsiloxanes and UV-filters

Mar Pollut Bull. 2019 Mar;140:9-16. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2019.01.021. Epub 2019 Jan 16.


This study focused on the determination of seven volatile methylsiloxanes (VMSs) and eleven UV-filters (UVFs) in beach sand from the Oporto's region (Portugal). A QuEChERS methodology ("Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged, and Safe") was used to extract VMSs from the sand, which has never been employed before. To extract the UVFs, a solid-phase microextraction (SPME) was used. The analyses were performed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Twenty-three beach sand samples were analysed, from two campaigns - summer/winter. VMSs were found in all the samples with concentrations ranging from 0.007 ± 0.001 to 17.8 ± 0.9 ng g-1dw, while UVFs in summer samples from 0.030 ± 0.001 to 373 ± 17 ng g-1dw. Cyclic VMSs and octocrylene (OC) were detected in higher concentrations. In general, higher levels were detected in summer than winter. Hazard quotients were determined and 3-(4'-methylbenzylidene) camphor (4-MBC), 2-ethylhexyl 4-methoxycinnamate (EMC) and benzophenone-3 (BP3) presented values >1, which may indicate that they may pose an ecotoxicological risk.

Keywords: Ecological risks; Sand; UV-filters; Volatile Methylsiloxanes.

MeSH terms

  • Bathing Beaches*
  • Benzophenones / analysis
  • Cinnamates / analysis
  • Cinnamates / chemistry
  • Environmental Pollutants / analysis*
  • Environmental Pollutants / chemistry
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Portugal
  • Seasons
  • Silicon Dioxide
  • Siloxanes / analysis*
  • Solid Phase Microextraction
  • Sunscreening Agents / analysis*
  • Sunscreening Agents / chemistry
  • Volatilization


  • Benzophenones
  • Cinnamates
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Siloxanes
  • Sunscreening Agents
  • octylmethoxycinnamate
  • Silicon Dioxide
  • oxybenzone