Sunscreen Can Damage Coral Reefs. This One Doesn’t.


Increasingly, evidence is showing that sunscreen can damage coral reefs, as divers, snorkelers and swimmers using it venture close to coral.

But one sunscreen has been designed with one mission: protecting marine life.

And now Tropical Seas, which produces Reef Safe Suncare, recently engaged the Mote Marine Tropical Research Laboratory to test the toxicity of its sunscreen.

The result? Reef Safe’s formulas showed no visual signs of stress, bleaching or mortality to corals at any level of sunscreen treatment over periods of 24 hours, four days or 20 days, according to the company.

“Coral Reefs have been subjected to damage over the past decades, and one of the supposed contributing factors is the effect that sunscreen chemicals have on the health of corals,” commented Dan Knorr, President and C.E.O of Tropical Seas. “This test was designed to simulate conditions found at coral reef sites impacted by large volumes of swimmers, snorkelers and scuba divers, all using Reef Safe formulated sunscreens, which include oxybenzone as one of the active ingredients. However, with Reef Safe, it’s not just about the ingredients; it’s about how those ingredients are processed. Further testing included simulating snorkel boats with the equivalent of 2,984 snorkelers wearing Reef Safe formulas battering the reef twice a day.”

The products come in every category of sunscreen, from regular “biodegradable” SPF 45+ to even reef-safe tanning oil.

— CJ Staff


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