In a study published online April 13, 2013 in the peer reviewed journal Science of the Total Environment researchers from the National University of Spain investigated various UV filters, including some used in printing inks for food contact materials (FCMs), for estrogenic activity (Ozáez et al. 2013). The authors found several of the tested compounds to be estrogenically active in vivo.

Ozáez and colleagues investigated the effects of octyl-p-methoxycinnamate (OMC), 4-methylbenzylidene camphor (4-MBC), benzophenone-3 (BP-3), 4-hydroxybenzophenone (4-HB), octocrylene (OC) and octyldimethyl-p-aminobenzoate (OD-PABA) on Chironomus riparius, an aquatic reference organism. The administration of OD-PABA resulted in the significant up-regulation of an endocrine related gene; BP-3 did not show such upregulation. BP-3 and OD-PABA are also used as curing agents in printing inks for FCMs both in Europe and the U.S. Further research into the effects of UV filters on ecosystems and their significance for human health is needed


Ozáez, I. et al. (2013). “Effects of in vivo exposure to UV filters (4-MBC, OMC, BP-3, 4-HB, OC, OD-PABA) on endocrine signaling genes in the insect Chironomus riparius.” The Science of the Total Environment, 2013;456-457():120-6.