Brown trout found to contain UV filter compounds

Trout tissue found to contain sunscreen

Jan 26, 2006 | MARTINA PETER

Certain chemicals are suspected of upsetting the hormonal equilibrium of man and beast, and some of these are used as the UV-filter in body creams. Two of these sun-blocking chemical compounds have been discovered in brown trout caught in seven Swiss rivers by Empa researchers working together with the Agroscope FAW in Waedenswil. The concentrations found in the trout were about ten times higher than those found in whitefish and roach caught in Swiss lakes.


A PDF of the article is available in the online edition of “Environmental Science and Technology“ at:

Homepage of the National Research Program 50 (“Endocrine Disruptors”)

Why the Empa has been fishing

The wellbeing of modern industrial societies is based on the flows of energy and materials. This affords humanity a high degree of mobility, living comfort and other amenities. The downside – as shown by the finding of UV filter compounds in brown trout tissue – is that in many products chemicals are used which find their way into the environment (for example Swiss lakes and rivers) where they may well cause detrimental effects. Problematic substances may also be set free during production and disposal processes. In its research program entitled «Technosphere – Atmosphere» (TECAT) the Empa is investigating the production and emission of these pollutants. It is working on understanding the fundamental science in order to fully understand the processes involved, and to help it create innovative solutions to the problems of reducing pollution. As a part of the National Research Program 50 Empa scientists, working closely with colleagues from more than 20 other research institutions, are investigating the effects on humans, animals and ecosystems of endocrine disruptors such as UV filter compounds or flame retardants