Are You Using a Reef-Safe Sunscreen?

reef-safe sunscreenMy name is Edward. I run a blog called Watersporting Adventure, where I put together guides and resources for people interested in water sports and the outdoors.

Water sports such as swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayaking are popular outdoor activities around the world for those who love oceans and marine life.

Coral Reefs

Here’s a fun fact: Did you know that coral is technically an animal, not a plant?

Corals attach themselves to the ocean floor, essentially “taking root” like most plants do. They secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton, which is what builds reefs.

Coral reefs are a vital part of the oceanic ecosystem, providing habitat and food to thousands of species of fish and other sea creatures.

The largest coral reef is the Great Barrier Reef, but there are others such as the Great Florida Reef, the Great Mayan Reef, and the Philippines coral reef area.

Many people are doing their part to protect coastal and underwater environments by reducing CO2 emissions, recycling and cutting down on disposable plastic.

However, some individuals may not realize the damage that sunscreen can do to coral reefs and other ocean-dwelling creatures.

The chemicals found in most sunscreens kill coral, cause deformities in fish, and bioaccumulate in the environment, eventually ending up in the human food chain.

For these reasons, it is important to use reef-safe sunscreen to preserve the health of the world’s coral reefs and marine life.

What is a Reef-safe Sunscreen?

There are literally thousands of sunscreens out there which cause harm to the coral reefs, but there are also some good ones.

Terms like “reef-safe” or “reef-friendly” will help you identify the sunscreens that protect your skin from the sun without putting the environment at risk.

Reef-safe sunscreen does not contain Oxybenzone and Octinoxate, two common UV-blocking chemicals, which studies have shown can lead to coral bleaching.

Coral bleaching causes DNA damage, which results in abnormalities in the coral’s growth and skeleton, while leaving the coral more susceptible to disease and preventing it from getting the nutrients it needs to survive.

Although Oxybenzone and Octinoxate are the two main reef damaging substances, there are others such as Butylparaben and 4-Methylbenzylidene Camphor.

I have recently put together a guide on how to choose the best reef-safe sunscreen to educate people of the damage sunscreen is causing to our coral reefs.

Check it out here:

All the best,

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