"" Writer's Wanderings: Safe Sunscreen For Coral Reefs

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Safe Sunscreen For Coral Reefs

More and more tourist areas associated with ocean beaches and reefs are banning the sale of sunscreens with the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate in them. Studies have shown that these chemicals are having an adverse effect on the health of coral reefs most especially in high tourist areas.

It is estimated that between 6,000 and 14,000 tons of sunscreen, equivalent to 25-60 million bottles of sunscreen wash off of snorkelers and swimmers each year. With ocean and coastal tourism growing each year, the problem will only get worse if not curtailed soon.

So what are we to do? Chance skin cancer? Nope. Thankfully there are safer sunscreens being marketed that will protect us as well as the environment. We just have to be aware of them. Here is a list of those that are said not to contain the harmful chemicals.

*Mama Kuleana Waterproof SPF 30 Reef-safe Sunscreen
*Kokua Sun Care Hawaiian SPF 50 Natural Zinc Sunscreen
*Little Hands Hawaii SPF 35+ All-natural and Organic Sunscreen
Manda Organic SPF 50 Sun Paste
*Raw Love SPF 35 All-natural Mineral Sunscreen
Thinksport SPF 50 Sunscreen
All Good SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen Lotion
Babo Botanicals SPF 30 Clear Zinc Lotion
Suntegrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen
Badger SPF 30 Unscented Sunscreen Cream
Raw Elements SPF 30 Certified Natural Sunscreen
Stream2Sea SPF 30 Mineral Sunblock
Loving Naturals Clear Body SPF 30+ All-natural Sunscreen
Reef Safe Oxybenzone Free Biodegradable SPF 50 Sunscreen
Banana Boat Simply Protect SPF 50+ Sunscreen (spray, not lotion)

Banana Boat is the only product I recognize as a popular sunscreen but I would wager a guess that many of the major makers will be revising their products soon. Hawaii has already banned products with those two chemicals in them and Florida has legislation pending to do the same. (Key West has a local ban.) Grand Cayman is promoting the use of chemical free sunscreen and I wouldn't be surprised to see law passed there as well.

Check the labels before you buy and help keep our coral reefs healthy.

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