Years ago, my family and I went to an eco-resort in Quintana Roo, Mexico. I was about to jump into the crystal clear lagoon until I saw signs everywhere that said, “No Sunscreen”. Signs also advocated that we shower before entering the ecopreserve’s water areas with tropical fish swimming around. I think this was the first time in my life that I had been told that sunscreen was a problem to marine life. I’ve been to Tahiti, Great Barrier Reef, Caribbean, etc. and not ONCE did it occur to me that sunscreen was a problem. It made sense, so I complied and then really began to think about all of the times I lathered up and jumped into the ocean. Yikes, what have I done?
After doing a little research on AlertDiver.com, I found that besides washing off swimmers’ skin and into the water, sunscreen can get into the sea by other means. Many sunscreen ingredients are readily absorbed through the skin. Oxybenzone, one of the most common ultraviolet-blocking chemicals in sunscreen, for example, can be detected in urine within 30 minutes of application. When you flush the toilet or wash off sunscreen in the shower, chemicals from the lotion enter the sewer. For towns near coral reefs and without sophisticated sewage treatment and management systems, this pollution is rather inevitable.*
Oxybenzone is toxic to more than just corals. It’s toxic to algae, sea urchins, fish and mammals. It inhibits embryonic development in sea urchins. It can result in gender shifts in fish, in which male fish take on female attributes, while females have reduced egg production and embryo hatchings. *
Ack! Ok, so this oxybenzone crap is horrific to our reefs and ecosystem, so what on earth is it doing to US?
Other than wearing full body clothing coverage, what’s a girl to do?
I love ALL good’s easy #ReefFriendly Critera – Does YOUR sunscreen offer this?
NO to Chemical Suncreens & the Awful Eight
- 1. Oxybenzone
- 2. Octinoxate
- 3. Octocrylene
- 4. PABA (Aminobenzoic Acid)
- 5. Enzacamene
- 6. Octisalate
- 7. Homosalate
- 8. Avobenzone
NO to Toxic Preservatives and Additives
Parabens, Pthalates, Triclosan, Microbeads (plastic)
YES to Zinc Oxide:
ALL good also uses testing verification by a third party laboratory! Many companies say they are organic and safe, but are they really?
Reference: Craig Downs, PhD. – Alert Diver
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