October 20, 2015

FYI: Coral reefs and sunscreen

No coral reefs here in Tidewater Virginia, but many residents of this area head off to Caribbean or Hawaii destinations when winter arrives. So a recent study about sunscreens should be of interest.

It seems that the chemical oxybenzone, found in more than 3500 popular sunscreens, is killing coral reefs. 80 percent of our reefs in the Caribbean are lost already. Degraded bleached out reefs might recover, but it takes a LONG time.

Anywhere from 6000 to 14,00 tons of sunscreen lotion wash off our bodies and into coral reef areas each year. And much of that sunscreen contains between one and ten percent oxybenzone. I just checked the Nutrigena products we use and see 6 percent oxybenzone.

So check EWG's Guide to sunscreens at ewg.org to see the ones they highly recommend. You will probably not be familiar with most of these brands.