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How does sunscreen negatively affect the ocean? How to choose an eco-friendly sunscreen

Sunscreen with SPF is necessary to protect the skin. However, there is now concern about marine pollution caused by these sunscreen products. Hawaii, Palau, Mexico and Florida have banned the use of certain sunscreens. What choices can we make to avoid harming the environment?

Here are a few of the sad things about sunscreen bad for the ocean, and how to choose an eco-friendly sunscreen.

Negative impact on the ocean

In recent years, marine ecologists have shown that certain chemicals in sunscreens can cause whiteness of ocean coral reefs, severely affecting the entire ecosystem and causing serious damage to the environment. coral reefs in danger of dying.

In fact, the report says up to 14,000 tons of sunscreen are dumped into the ocean each year. To protect coral reefs, popular tourist destinations such as Hawaii, Palau and the US Virgin Islands have announced a ban on the use of certain sunscreens.

And it's not just coral reefs damaged by sunscreen, a European research institute has found them in other organisms as well.

In April 2019, a study published by the Basque National University drew attention in Spain. Ingredients from medicines and sunscreens used by humans have accumulated in the bodies of fish living in the sea.

These pollutants were found in three different pollutants in fish: amitriptyline used in antidepressants, ciprofloxacin, an antibiotic, and oxybenzone used in sunscreen products.

These pollutants affected the metabolism of the fish; Adverse effects on plasma, brain and liver. It is believed that the increased consumption of health care products and cosmetics has resulted in pollutants being released into the ocean as many factory facilities do not treat wastewater adequately.

As these pollutants break down in fish, they produce other harmful substances that can affect marine life. In addition, they can also mix with other pollutants in the ocean and cause other types of toxicity.

In other words, this could be a chain of events affecting marine ecosystems and humans. Therefore, we need to choose sunscreen carefully and pay attention to its ingredients.


How to choose an eco-friendly sunscreen

1. Chemical substances
Oxybenzone, octinoxate, enzacamen and octocrylene are chemicals that can have a negative impact on marine life. They have also been shown to cause coral breakage, even at very low concentrations.

Several organic UV absorbers have been identified in water bodies around the world. They are not easily removed by conventional wastewater treatment techniques.

So to protect the ocean and marine life you need to pay attention to choose a sunscreen that does not contain the above ingredients.

For more information, visit: Haereticus Environmental Laboratory

2. Minerals
Choose mineral sunscreen. Sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are considered less harmful to coral reefs than organic ingredients.

3. Nanoparticle ( Nanoparticle)
Be sure not to use sunscreen that contains microscopic particles. In addition to the composition, the size of the particles is also important.

Since microscopic particles are likely to be absorbed by the reef, it's always better to choose a sunscreen labeled " nanoparticle-free ".

You can also refer to Ways to protect skin from ultraviolet rays instead of using sunscreen

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