The Impact of Sunscreen on Our Oceans
The beach, with its warm weather and relaxing atmosphere, attracts many people during the summer. However, scientists have recently uncovered a disturbing consequence of something seemingly harmless – our sunscreen. Surprisingly, a staggering 14,000 tons of sunscreen find their way into our precious marine ecosystems every year, making it a notorious pollutant.
While oxybenzone and octinoxate, two key components of sunscreen, effectively shield us from harmful UV rays, their impact on oceanic creatures is catastrophic. These substances can cause distortions in the growth of coral colonies, increasing the risk of coral bleaching. Coral bleaching occurs when coral reefs expel the algae living in their tissues, resulting in a loss of color and a white appearance. This not only affects the well-being of the reef but also jeopardizes the diverse marine life that depends on the reef for shelter and food.
Sunscreen’s Effects on Our Health
Dr. Craig Downs, a respected marine biologist studying the effects of sunscreen on oceans, has observed that sunscreen usage can lead to cancer and abnormalities in fish. This means that by using these harmful sunscreens, we unintentionally put our own health at risk. The chemicals in these sunscreens can enter our water sources and affect the seafood we consume, potentially causing health issues.
Three Tips for Sustainable Sunscreen Choices
If you’re concerned about the impact of sunscreen on our oceans and your health, here are three tips to help you make smart and sustainable choices:
1) Choose Reef-Safe Sunscreen
Take the time to explore alternative sun protection options that bear the Protect Land + Sea Seal. These sunscreens are formulated without oxybenzone and octinoxate, ensuring no harm is inflicted upon our marine ecosystem.
2) Avoid Aerosol Sprays
Opt for alternative methods of applying sunscreen instead of aerosol sprays. These sprays scatter remnants into the atmosphere, which eventually find their way into the water. By using other application methods, you not only protect the environment but also ensure more efficient coverage.
3) Embrace UV-Protected Clothing
Discover a range of stylish options, such as rash guards, hats, and water shoes, that come with built-in UV protection. By wearing UV-protected clothing, you can strategically apply sunscreen only to the areas that truly require it, reducing the amount needed and minimizing its impact on the environment and your health.
Join the Movement
How are you contributing to the well-being of our oceans? Are you striving to live a more conscious and mindful life? Share your thoughts on social media or leave a comment below. Together, we can make a difference.
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