21.7.13

Sunscreens and Coral Reef Bleaching

We all know SPF is important to protect us against sunburn and cancer. Obviously, I want people to give consideration to the toxic ingredients for the sake of their skin but did you know that sunscreen could be damaging the marine environment? This blog post was prompted by a tweet I spotted.


I decided to do a bit more research and this is what I discovered. In 2008 a scientific paper entitled "Sunscreens Cause Coral Bleaching by Promoting Viral Infections" was published. The study was carried out by Roberto Danovaro and his colleagues at the Marche Polytechnic University in Ancona, Italy. It was found that four sunscreen ingredients (Oxybenzone (benzophenone-3), Butylparaben, Octinoxate (Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate) and 4-methylbenzylidene camphor) trigger a dormant virus which in turn leads to the coral turning white (bleaching). It is estimated that 4,000 to 6,000 metric tons of sunscreen annually wash off beach goers.

I think it is interesting and concerning that some ingredients are potentially harmful to our bodies but they are also damaging to our environment. If you are lucky enough to be swimming or snorkelling around coral reef you need to consider switching your sunscreen to a green brand. 


picture source


11 comments:

  1. That's awful! Thanks for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm happy to share information like this, it's important to create awareness

      Delete
  2. Wow! Who would've thought? Very interesting post Sarah. Certainly something to think about.

    <a href="http://gedlab.com/>Gedlab.com - A blog for the modern man</a>

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm pleased to hear you have found this interesting and it has given you something to think about :)

      Delete
  3. This is really interesting. I would never have thought of this. I am starting to test out more natural spf at the moment and have found them just as good. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm pleased to hear you have found this interesting. Most people find the whiteness & thickness of natural sunscreen an issue but over the years I think formulations are getting better :)

      Delete
  4. I honestly had no idea! It's really interesting to know that it can do that much damage and really makes you think about what we're actually applying to our skin x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you, does make you stop and think about what goes into our skincare products :)

      Delete
  5. I never knew this! I'm switching to greener sunscreens anyway but it's really sad to hear this. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am always sad to hear of how we are damaging the environment around us

      Delete
  6. Thanks, Sarah, for making this point clear. In doing research for a recent post on sunscreens and safe sun, I came across the term "coral reef safe" and wondered what that meant. You have relieved me of the effort to do my own research on this important topic. PHEW :-)!

    ReplyDelete

Theme designed by Feeric Studios. Copyright © 2013. Powered by Blogger