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Knutson S.,University of Hawaii at Manoa | Downs C.A.,Haereticus Environmental Laboratory | Richmond R.H.,Kewalo Marine Laboratory
Ecotoxicology | Year: 2012

This study examined concentrations of Irgarol 1051® in selected marinas on the island of Oahu, Hawaii and used laboratory bioassays to assess effects of Irgarol on coral larval settlement. Field surveys of small boat marinas performed in 2006-2007 revealed low concentrations of Irgarol 1051®, an antifouling paint additive, ranging from non-detected (<17 ng/l) to 283 ng/l. The highest concentrations of Irgarol 1051® were found in marinas with low flushing rates and a high density of moored boats and boat traffic. The potential effect of Irgarol 1051® on coral larval settlement was evaluated in the laboratory using planulae from Porites hawaiiensis, a zooxanthellate shade-dwelling coral found in Hawaiian waters. Exposure to Irgarol 1051® at 100 ng/l resulted in a statistically significant reduction in settlement of coral larvae. This was within the range of Irgarol 1051® concentrations found in some of the marinas surveyed on the island of Oahu but Irgarol was not detected in seawater samples at offshore reefs. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Downs C.A.,Haereticus Environmental Laboratory | Downs C.A.,University of Hawaii at Manoa | Fauth J.E.,University of Central Florida | Downs V.D.,Haereticus Environmental Laboratory | Ostrander G.K.,University of Hawaii at Manoa
Ecotoxicology | Year: 2010

The logistics involved in obtaining and maintaining large numbers of corals hampers research on the toxicological effects of environmental contaminants for this ecologically and economically important taxon. A method for creating and culturing single-cell suspensions of viable coral cells was developed. Cell segregation/separation was based on specific cell densities and resulting cell cultures were viable for at least 2 mos. Low-density cells lacking symbiotic zooxanthallae and rich in mitochondria were isolated and cultured for toxicity studies. Cells were exposed to differing degrees or concentrations of heat stress, rotenone, cyanide, sulfide, and cuprous oxide. Cells were assayed for mitochondrial membrane potential using the fluorescent probe, JC-9, and for overall viability using the MTT/formazan spectrophotometric viability assay. Significant differences were observed between controls and treatments and the efficacy of this method was validated; only 2 cm2 of tissue was required for a seven-point concentration-exposure series. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


News Article | October 23, 2015
Site: www.washingtonpost.com

The sunscreen that snorkelers, beachgoers and children romping in the waves lather on for protection is killing coral and reefs around the globe. And a new study finds that a single drop in a small area is all it takes for the chemicals in the lotion to mount an attack. The study, released Tuesday, was conducted in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Hawaii several years after a chance encounter between a group of researchers on one of the Caribbean beaches, Trunk Bay, and a vendor waiting for the day’s invasion of tourists. Just wait to see what they’d leave behind, he told the scientists – “a long oil slick.” His comment sparked the idea for the research. Not only did the study determine that a tiny amount of sunscreen is all it takes to begin damaging the delicate corals — the equivalent of a drop of water in a half-dozen Olympic-sized swimming pools — it documented three different ways that the ingredient oxybenzone breaks the coral down, robbing it of life-giving nutrients and turning it ghostly white. Yet beach crowds aren’t the only people who add to the demise of the coral reefs found just off shore. Athletes who slather sunscreen on before a run, mothers who coat their children before outdoor play and people trying to catch some rays in the park all come home and wash it off. Cities such as Ocean City, Md., and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., have built sewer outfalls that jettison tainted wastewater away from public beaches, sending personal care products with a cocktail of chemicals into the ocean. On top of that, sewer overflows during heavy rains spew millions of tons of waste mixed with stormwater into rivers and streams. Like sunscreen lotions, products like birth-control pills contain chemicals that are endocrine disruptors and alter the way organisms grow. Those are among the main suspects in an investigation into why male fish such as bass are developing female organs. Research for the new study was conducted only on the two islands. But across the world each year, up to 14,000 tons of sunscreen lotions are discharged into coral reef, and much of it “contains between 1 and 10 percent oxybenzone,” the authors said. They estimate that places at least 10 percent of reefs at risk of high exposure, judging from how reefs are located in popular tourism areas. [Maryland’s gigantic new oyster reef is a pearl that could save the Chesapeake Bay] “The most direct evidence we have is from beaches with a large amount of people in the water,” said John Fauth, an associate professor of biology at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. “But another way is through the wastewater streams. People come inside and step into the shower. People forget it goes somewhere.” The study was published Tuesday in the journal Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. Fauth co-authored the study with Craig Downs of the nonprofit Haereticus Environmental Laboratory in Clifford, Va., and Esti Kramarsky-Winter, a researcher  in the Department of Zoology at Tel Aviv University in Israel. Their findings follow a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration study two weeks ago that said the world is in the midst of a third global coral bleaching event. It warned that pollution is undermining the health of coral, rendering it unable to resist bleaching or recover from the effects. “The use of oxybenzone-containing products needs to be seriously deliberated in islands and areas where coral reef conservation is a critical issue,” Downs said. “We have lost at least 80 percent of the coral reefs in the Caribbean. Any small effort to reduce oxybenzone pollution could mean that a coral reef survives a long, hot summer, or that a degraded area recovers.” Coral reefs are more than just exotic displays of color on the sea bed. The National Marine Fisheries Service, a division of the NOAA, placed their value for U.S. fisheries at $100 million. They spawn the fish humans eat and protect miles of coast from storm surge. “Local economies also receive billions of dollars from visitors to reefs through diving tours, recreational fishing trips, hotels, restaurants, and other businesses based near reef ecosystems,” NOAA said on its Web site. “Globally, coral reefs provide a net benefit of $9.6 billion each year from tourism and recreation revenues, and $5.7 billion per year from fisheries.” Oxybenzone is mixed in more than 3,500 sunscreen products worldwide, including popular brands such as Coppertone, Baby Blanket Faces, L’Oreal Paris, Hawaiian Tropic and Banana Boat. Adverse effects on coral started on with concentrations as low as 62 parts per trillion. There are alternative sunscreens with no oxybenzone, including a product called Badger Natural Sunscreen and dozens of others on a list provided by the non-profit Environmental Working Group. Measurements of oxybenzone in seawater within coral reefs in Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands found concentrations ranging from 800 parts per trillion to 1.4 parts per million,” according to the authors. That’s 12 times the concentrations needed to harm coral. “This study raises our awareness of a seldom-realized threat to the health of our reef life … chemicals in the sunscreen products visitors and residents wear are toxic to young corals,” said Pat Lindquist, executive director of the Napili Bay and Beach Foundation in Maui. “This knowledge is critical to us as we consider actions to mitigate threats or improve on current practices.” Read more in Science and Energy & Environment: The big fish story everyone is missing in the western drought Sea stars are wasting away in larger numbers on a wider scale in two oceans Crabs are bulking up on carbon pollution to become giants For more, you can sign up for our weekly newsletter here, and follow us on Twitter here.


News Article | February 16, 2017
Site: www.treehugger.com

When sunscreen chemicals wash off beach-goers, they bleach coral, stunt its growth, and sometimes kill it outright. If you’re heading to Hawaii, or any other tropical paradise, to soak up the sun this winter, you might want to leave the sunscreen behind. It sounds counterintuitive after years of being told to slather on sunscreen to protect our skin from dangerous UV rays, but now research is showing that human use of sunscreen could be seriously damaging tropical coral reefs. Senator Will Espero presented a bill to the state congress on January 20 that would ban sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate (except under medical prescriptions) in Hawaii. Espero argued that a ban is crucial to maintaining the health of coral reefs – an tourist attraction on which Hawaii relies. Sunscreens use filters, either chemical or mineral, to block out the sun’s radiation. The chemical filters are most damaging, washing off the skin into the water while swimming, surfing, spearfishing, or even using a beach shower. Researchers have measured oxybenzone in Hawaiian waters at concentrations that are 30 times higher than the level considered safe for corals. According to Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources: Says Craig Downs of Haereticus Environmental Laboratory in Virginia, whose research on stunted coral growth has heavily influenced Espero's bill: This problem is not unique to Hawaii. Approximately 80 percent of the corals in the Caribbean Sea have died over the past 40 years. While there are many compounding factors, such as temperature anomalies, overfishing, coral predators, coastal runoffs, and pollution from cruise ships and other vessels that affect coral health, the fact that an estimated 14,000 tons of sunscreen wash off annually into the world’s oceans is a serious matter. Not surprisingly, Espero has met resistance from sunscreen manufacturers, such as L'Oréal, which say the evidence is not yet strong enough to justify a ban; but Espero insists the public support is there. Scientific American quotes him: If you’re wondering how not to burn in the sun, check out the Environmental Working Group’s 2016 guide to safe sunscreens, and consider its advice: “Sunscreen should be your last resort.” Use clothing (long-sleeved shirts or special UV blocking clothes), shade, sunglasses, and careful timing to minimize exposure to sunshine.


News Article | October 20, 2015
Site: news.yahoo.com

ORLANDO, Fla. (Reuters) - A common ingredient found in sunscreen is toxic to coral and contributing to the decline of reefs around the world, according to new research published on Tuesday. Oxybenzone, a UV-filtering chemical compound found in 3,500 brands of sunscreen worldwide, can be fatal to baby coral and damaging to adults in high concentrations, according the study published in the Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. The international research team that conducted the study, led by Craig Downs, found the highest concentrations of oxybenzone around coral reefs popular with tourists, particularly those in Hawaii and the Caribbean. Downs, of the non-profit scientific organization Haereticus Environmental Laboratory in Virginia, said the study helped explain why scientists aren't seeing baby corals in many established reefs in resort areas. Oxybenzone alters coral DNA, makes coral more susceptible to potentially fatal bleaching and acts as an endocrine disruptor, causing baby coral to encase itself in its own skeleton and die, according to the findings. Between 6,000 and 14,000 tons of sunscreen lotion winds up in coral reef areas each year, much of which containing oxybenzone. The damaging effects were seen in coral in concentrations of oxybenzone as low as 62 parts per trillion, which is equivalent to a drop of water in six and a half Olympic-sized swimming pools, according to the researchers. In Hawaii and the Caribbean, concentrations were 12 times higher, according to the sea water testing. Outside of coral toxins, the Environmental Working Group had previously raised concerns about the chemical, saying that it may penetrate the skin and cause hormonal and cellular changes. The American Academy of Dermatology, says there is no data showing oxybenzone is a health hazard and notes that it is one of the few ingredients in sunscreen that effectively protects skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays.


Vizel M.,Tel Aviv University | Loya Y.,Tel Aviv University | Downs C.A.,Haereticus Environmental Laboratory | Kramarsky-Winter E.,Tel Aviv University
Marine Biotechnology | Year: 2011

We describe here a method for the micropropagation of coral that creates progeny from tissue explants derived from a single polyp or colonial corals. Coral tissue explants of various sizes (0.5-2.5 mm in diameter) were manually microdissected from the solitary coral Fungia granulosa. Explants could be maintained in an undeveloped state or induced to develop into polyps by manipulating environmental parameters such as light and temperature regimes, as well as substrate type. Fully developed polyps were able to be maintained for a long-term in a closed sea water system. Further, we demonstrate that mature explants are also amenable to this technique with the micropropagation of second-generation explants and their development into mature polyps. We thereby experimentally have established coral clonal lines that maintain their ability to differentiate without the need for chemical induction or genetic manipulation. The versatility of this method is also demonstrated through its application to two other coral species, the colonial corals Oculina patigonica and Favia favus. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Trademark
Haereticus Environmental Laboratory | Date: 2016-10-13

Cosmetic and non-medicated sun protection and sun care products, namely, sun care preparations, sun screen, sun block, sun-tanning preparations, sun block lotions, sunscreen creams, sunscreen lotions, ointments for the prevention and treatment of sunburn, sun care lotions and sun creams; baby care products, namely, baby shampoo, baby lotion, baby oil, baby powder, baby wipes, baby toothpaste, non-medicated diaper rash cream and baby bubble bath; hair care products, namely, shampoos, conditioners, styling gel, mousse, detangler, hair dyes and hair sprays; cosmetics and makeup, namely, lipstick, lip gloss, nail polish, nail polish remover, cuticle treatment, foundation, blush, bronzers, concealers, facial powder, makeup removers and eye liners; skin and skin care products, namely, skin soaps, bath oils, body wash, bubble bath masks, foot cleanser, skin toner, astringents, body lotion, eye creams, shaving creams, body oils, facial moisturizers, anti-aging treatments, body powder; household cleaning products, namely, dish detergents, laundry detergents, fabric softeners, all-purpose cleaning preparations, bathroom cleaners, drain openers, shower cleaner, toilet cleaner, soap scum remover, countertop cleaners, degreasers, oven cleaners, stove top cleaners, pet stain remover and deodorizer, toy cleaners and carpet and floor cleaning preparations. Medicated sun protection and sun care products, namely, sun screen, sun block, sun-tanning preparations, sun block lotions, sunscreen creams, sunscreen lotions, sun care lotions and sun creams; medicated baby care products, namely, baby shampoo, baby lotion, baby oil, baby powder, baby wipes, baby toothpaste, diaper rash cream and baby bubble bath; medicated hair care products, namely, shampoos, conditioners, styling gel, mousse, detangler, hair dyes and hair sprays; medicated skin and skin care products, namely, skin soaps, bath oils, body wash, bubble bath masks, foot cleanser, skin toner, astringents, body lotion, eye creams, shaving creams, body oils, facial moisturizers, anti-aging treatments, body powder. Clothing and clothes, namely, shirts, tee shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, jeans, footwear, socks, sweaters, shorts, jackets, pants, sleepwear, loungewear, infant and toddler one piece clothing, ties, skirts, dresses, blouses, swimwear, rain wear, underwear, track pants, track shirts, jerseys, sweatshirts, sweatpants, athletic base layers; footwear, namely, sneakers, sandals and shoes; Headwear, namely, hats, headbands, headwear, visors and hats. Scientific research and analysis services concerning cosmetics and personal care products and textile materials and products; Technical testing services concerning cosmetics and personal care products and textile materials and products; Providing online scientific research information on ingredients and chemicals found in personal care products and textiles; Providing environmental and product safety testing and assessment services for consumer products; Development of safety and environmental standards for products and services affecting the safety of consumers, the environment and human health.


Trademark
Haereticus Environmental Laboratory | Date: 2016-09-28

Sun protection and sun care products, namely, non-medicated sun care preparations, sun screen, sun block, sun-tanning preparations, sun block lotions, sunscreen creams, sunscreen lotions, non-medicated ointments for the prevention and treatment of sunburn, sun care lotions and sun creams; baby care products, namely, baby shampoo, baby lotion, baby oil, baby powder, baby wipes, baby toothpaste, diaper cream and baby bubble bath; Hair care products, namely, shampoos, conditioners, styling gel, mousse, detangler, hair dyes and hair sprays; Cosmetics and makeup, namely, lipstick, lip gloss, nail polish, nail polish remover, cuticle treatment, foundation, blush, bronzers, concealers, facial powder, makeup removers and eye liners; skin and skin care products, namely, soaps, bath oils, body wash, bubble bath masks, oils controller, foot cleanser, toner, astringents, body lotion, eye creams, shaving creams, body oils, facial moisturizers, anti-aging treatments, body powder; household cleaning products, namely, dish detergents, laundry detergents, fabric softeners, all-purpose cleaning preparations, bathroom cleaners, drain openers, shower cleaner, toilet cleaner, soap scum remover, countertop cleaners, degreasers, oven cleaners, stove top cleaners, pet stain remover and deodorizer, toy cleaners and carpet and floor cleaning preparations. Clothing and clothes, namely, shirts, tee shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, jeans, foot wear, socks, sweaters, shorts, jackets, pants, sleepwear, loungewear, infant and toddler one piece clothing, ties, skirts, dresses, blouses, swimwear, rain wear, underwear, athletic wear, track pants, track shirts, jerseys, sweatshirts, sweatpants, athletic base layers, yoga clothes; Footwear, namely, sneakers, sandals and shoes; Headwear, namely, hats, headbands, headwear, visors and hats. Scientific research and analysis services concerning cosmetics and personal care products and textile materials and products; Technical testing services concerning cosmetics and personal care products and textile materials and products; Providing online scientific research information on ingredients and chemicals found in personal care products and textiles; Providing environmental and product safety testing and assessment services for consumer products; Development of safety and environmental standards for products and services affecting the safety of consumers, the environment and human health.


Grant
Agency: Department of Commerce | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 400.00K | Year: 2010

  Over 10 million coral species a year are traded in the +$100 million/year ornamental-recreational aquaria industry. Over ninety percent of commercial coral specimens come from some form of mass harvesting of wild corals from coral reefs. This can have a detrimental impact to coral reefs. We invented a method of perpetual propagation of corals through tissue engineering. Hundreds to thousands of microscopic tissue explants are generated from a single coral polyp. These explants can be induced to regenerate and develop into primary coral polyps and undergo colonization. In Phase I, we evolved this technology for mass-production and to augment cryo-preservation methods to control production rates using a single coral species, Heliofungia. The method for Heliofungia is not optimal for other coral species, and often require radically different medias, as well as environmental conditions. In Phase II, we will develop and optimize methods for micropropagation and cryo-preservation for ten commercial species of coral, and two species of coral listed as “threatened” on the U.S. Endangered Species List. The ten commercial species will be necessary to demonstrate the commercial feasibility and competitiveness of this technology. The threatened species will be necessary to demonstrate the value of this technology to the conservation/restoration industry.


Grant
Agency: Department of Commerce | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 90.00K | Year: 2009

Over 10 million coral specimens a year are traded in the +$100 million/year ornamental-recreational aquaria industry.  Over ninety percent of commercial coral specimens come from some form of mass harvesting of wild corals from coral reefs.  This can have a detrimental impact to coral reefs.  We have invented a method of perpetual propagation of corals through tissue engineering.  Hundreds to thousands of microscopic tissue explants are generated from a single coral polyp.  These explants can be induced to undergo “remorphogenesis” and develop into primary coral polyps and colonization.  In Phase I, it’s proposed to optimize this technology for mass-production and to augment cryo-preservation methods to control production rates.  Culture media and environmental conditions will be tested for optimal productivity.  Phase II will expand this technology to a wide-range of coral species, and to establish a DNA “fingerprint” system to certify specimens that are tissue-engineered vs. wild-collected specimens.

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