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Learn about biodegradable sunscreen!
Did you know that most sunscreens are harmful to coral?
Neither did I! On a recent trip to Mexico with my kids we visited several eco-parks. All of these eco-parks required that biodegradable sunscreen be used to protect the marine environment. I was quite surprised as I had never heard of this before on all my travels. Upon further research I discovered that most regular commercial sunscreen contains harmful chemicals that damage coral reefs and the marine environment. They also contain potentially harmful ingredients that can damage our own DNA and cells. Thankfully there is a solution, biodegradable sunscreen.
What are Coral Reefs?
Coral reefs are known as the rain forest of the sea! Coral are tiny living organisms that create the reefs. Coral reefs are home to 25% of all marine life. They are under threat from water pollution which includes sunscreen use by tourists! Coral reefs are thought to hold the medicines of our futures. It is important that we don't destroy these beautiful creatures not only for our snorkeling pleasure but to protect the fragile underwater eco-system.
What is biodegradable sunscreen?
Most regular sunscreen is petroleum based which does not break down naturally. This eco-friendly sun lotion is made from natural ingredients such as minerals that break down naturally and do not harm the reefs or us! Biodegradable sunblock is chemical free and still provides us with UV protection.
What are Nanoparticles?
Many sunscreens contain nanoparticles. Nanoparticles are created by manipulating the atoms and molecules of materials. Studies have shown that nanoparticles can damage our DNA and cells. Nanoparticles are not necessary for sun protection! Studies have also shown that nanoparticles can be harmful to coral as well! There are currently no regulations requiring sunscreen labels to reveal if they contain nanoparticles.
How Do Regular Sunscreens Damage The Environment?
Studies show that chemicals found in regular sunscreen awakens a dormant virus that is in the algae that lives inside the reef building coral. Algae has a symbiotic relationship with the coral and contributes to the coral's color. Once awakened the virus then replicates, causing the algae to explode, and spreads into nearby coral. Without the algae the coral bleaches and dies. Even small amounts of regular sunscreen can cause damage to a reef.
Do we have to use Biodegradable Products?
Mexico is one of the leaders in protecting the fragile coral reef and ocean life. Many eco-parks such as Xelha and Xcaret require the use of biodegradable suntan products.Hawaii also has a few protected snorkeling areas
that requires the use of biodegradable sun blocks. More and more countries are beginning to realize the damage and stress that our reefs are undergoing. The majority of beaches do not of course regulate the type of sun tan lotion used by tourists and visitors. It is up to us to protect the fascinating and beautiful underwater life for our children and future generations to enjoy, as well as protecting our families!
Is this safe for kids? Yes! It is chemical free, fragrance free and provides UVA & UVB protection. There are no nanoparticles and it is reef friendly! It is also safe for kids!
Where Can We Read More About The Importance of Biodegradable Sunblock and Sunscreen?
National Geographic Swimmers' Sunscreen Killing Off Coral