Sunscreen Is Killing Coral Reefs

The weather is getting warmer outside and that means that you’re going to want to start up your sunscreen regimen again — but you should be wary about which type you use. Certain sunscreens are damaging the coral reefs and Hawaii lawmakers recently passed a bill that would prohibit the sale of over-the counter sunscreen that contains chemicals known to kill coral reefs and marine life.

More than 3,500 sunscreens, including some of the most popular brands, use the harmful chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate. Studies show that when these chemicals enter the water, they take the nutrient from corals and bleach it white. Researchers say over 14,000 tons of sunscreen lotion end up in coral reefs around the world each year.

The bill still must be signed by Hawaii’s governor, but many Hawaiian businesses are already taking a step forward by implementing their own bans on certain manufacturers. Hawaii would be the first state to ban certain sunscreens.

In order to avoid sunscreens with these particular chemicals, look for brands on the market that use minerals like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as their active ingredients. These are known as physical blockers, that actually block the sun’s rays as opposed to using chemical reactions.

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