Sunscreen and Coral
It is that time of year again when everybody hits the beach, builds a sandcastle, and jumps into the lake. In other words sunscreen is out in full force. While many people are worried about the effects of ultraviolet rays and the potential for skin cancer, the many environmental attractions that draw people outdoors can be at risk as well. A report mentioned in the New York Times from Environmental Health Perspectives stated “We conclude that sunscreens, by promoting viral infection, potentially play an important role in coral bleaching in areas prone to high levels of recreational use by humans. Coral bleaching (i.e., the release of coral symbiotic zooxanthellae) has negative impacts on biodiversity and functioning of reef ecosystems and their production of goods and services. This increasing world-wide phenomenon is associated with temperature anomalies, high irradiance, pollution, and bacterial diseases. Recently, it has been demonstrated that personal care products, including sunscreens, have an impact on aquatic organisms similar to that of other contaminants.” (EHP 2008)
Basically, all natural sunscreens or mineral sunscreens may be the way to go. Grist.org, Seattle’s very own environmental news and commentary source suggests using sunblock containing titanium oxide or zinc oxid. Some great brands to try out, Kiss My Face, Desert Essence, and JASON.
Kiss my Face sunscreen received an Environmental Working Group rating of 2 (Which is good! 1 being the best). It is also 100% biodegradable and contains all natural and organic materials. JASON received an EWG rating of 1! Their sunscreens are 100% paraben free (preservative free), fragrance free, and are not tested on animals. Dessert Essence is paraben free, 100 % vegan, and is also not tested on animals. (Grist.org)