Special to the Mirror by Margot Gorske
FYI: While your sunscreen is hard at work protecting your skin, it’s killing the environment. What we use on the beach is killing reefs, aquatic life, and the grasses.
Most chemical sunscreens contain oxybenzone, which is believed to be the culprit. “Oxybenzone damages coral DNA, inhibiting its ability to reproduce, causes deformities on the coral, makes coral more susceptible to bleaching, and initiates endocrine dispution,” says All Good CEO and founder Caroline Duell. “Found in over 3,500 sunscreens sold in the U.S., oxybenzone is the most common, harmful chemical linked to bleaching fragile coral reef populations worldwide … and humans are contributing an estimated 14,000 tons of sunscreen into rivers and oceans each year.” Duell adds that as little as one drop in the equivalent of six-and-a-half Olympic swimming pools can seriously harm coral reefs and marine ecosystems.
Don’t grab the products at the grocery store, the $ general store, Walmart; pay the price to protect what we all love and enjoy on the beautiful Eastern Shore.
The U.S. National Park Service for South Florida, Hawaii, U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa recommend using “reef friendly” sunscreen (those made with titanium oxide or zinc oxide, which are natural mineral ingredients) and wearing clothing and hats to protect the skin from the sun.
Below are just a few of the available Reef Friendly sunscreens: