Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
Topic Options
#508453 - 10/21/15 01:00 PM Sunscreen Could Be Killing The World's Coral Reefs
Marty Offline

Just one drop of the stuff can damage delicate corals

Just two weeks ago, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) raised the alarm about the terrible plight facing the Earth’s coral reefs. For the third time in history, the world is in the midst of a global coral bleaching event, the agency said.

"We are losing huge areas of coral across the U.S., as well as internationally," said Mark Eakin, NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch coordinator, citing climate change and events like the current El Nińo as primary reasons for the mass die-off.

A new study published this week is bringing even more bad news about the world’s dying corals. According to researchers, there may be another, oft-overlooked threat to reefs worldwide: sunscreen.

Scientists who conducted their research in Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands found that the chemical oxybenzone -- used in more than 3,500 sunscreen products worldwide, including those by popular brands such as Coppertone, L’Oreal and Banana Boat -- was extremely harmful to fragile coral reefs.

"The chemical not only kills the coral, it causes DNA damage in adults and deforms the DNA in coral in the larval stage, making it unlikely they can develop properly," a news release reported. 

The researchers said even a tiny amount of oxybenzone-containing sunscreen can damage corals. As The Washington Post noted, "the equivalent of a drop of water in a half-dozen Olympic-sized swimming pools" was sufficient to cause harm.

Every year, approximately 14,000 tons of sunscreen ends up in coral reefs worldwide.  

"The use of oxybenzone-containing products needs to be seriously deliberated in islands and areas where coral reef conservation is a critical issue," said lead researcher Craig Downs. "We have lost at least 80 percent of the coral reefs in the Caribbean. Any small effort to reduce oxybenzone pollution could mean that a coral reef survives a long, hot summer, or that a degraded area recovers."

But keeping sunscreen away from reef systems will be no easy feat.

The product, which can protect wearers from the ill effects of sun exposure, including skin cancer and burns, is used widely, and researchers say that the contamination of reefs isn’t just caused by beach-goers who swim in waters near corals but by everyone who wears sunscreen in their day-to-day lives.

"The most direct evidence [of damage] we have is from beaches with a large amount of people in the water," John Fauth, one of the study's co-authors and an associate professor of biology at the University of Central Florida, told the Post. "But another way is through the wastewater streams. People come inside and step into the shower. People forget it goes somewhere."

However, steps can be taken to prevent the contamination of reefs with sunscreen products.

The U.S. National Park Service recommends using "reef-friendly" sunscreen made with titanium oxide or zinc oxide, instead of oxybenzone. (The Environmental Working Group lists some examples on its website.)

When frolicking on the beach, rash guards, scuba suits and hats are other environmentally-friendly ways to protect oneself from the sun. 

Some tourist destinations have even instituted no sunscreen rules to protect their reefs, NPR reported. In Akumal, Mexico, for instance, an area known for its sea turtles and corals, visitors are urged to apply eco-friendly sunscreen (or none at all) so as to not disturb the marine life. 

Coral reefs aren't just underwater eye candy. They are "some of the most diverse and valuable ecosystems on Earth," NOAA said. Reefs are crucial to the well-being of other marine life, and they protect miles and miles of coastline from storm surge. 

The biodiversity of reefs is also "considered key to finding new medicines for the 21st century," NOAA said. "Many drugs are now being developed from coral reef animals and plants as possible cures for cancer, arthritis, human bacterial infections, viruses and other diseases."

In addition, coral reefs provide economic and environmental services to millions of people through industries like fishing and tourism. The commercial value of U.S. fisheries from reefs is reportedly over $100 million.


Huffington Post


Top
#508469 - 10/22/15 10:07 AM Re: Sunscreen Could Be Killing The World's Coral Reefs [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

After sunscreen protects humans it massacres coral reefs
The sunscreen that snorkelers, beachgoers and children romping in the waves lather on for protection is killing coral and reefs around the globe. And a new study finds that a single drop in a small area is all it takes for the chemicals in the lotion to mount an attack. The study, released Tuesday, was conducted in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Hawaii several years after a chance encounter between a group of researchers on one of the Caribbean beaches, Trunk Bay, and a vendor waiting for the day’s invasion of tourists. Just wait to see what they’d leave behind, he told the scientists – “a long oil slick.” His comment sparked the idea for the research. Not only did the study determine that a tiny amount of sunscreen is all it takes to begin damaging the delicate corals — the equivalent of a drop of water in a half-dozen Olympic-sized swimming pools — it documented three different ways that the ingredient oxybenzone breaks the coral down, robbing it of life-giving nutrients and turning it ghostly white. Yet beach crowds aren’t the only people who add to the demise of the coral reefs found just off shore. Athletes who slather sunscreen on before a run, mothers who coat their children before outdoor play and people trying to catch some rays in the park all come home and wash it off.

Stream2Sea | EcoConscious & Biodegradable Sunscreen
Protecting the health of our fragile marine environments is our responsibility. Our sunscreen and skin care choices have a direct impact on our oceans, rivers, lakes and streams. Know what those choices are—and how to make a difference. Join us as we work to provide ecoconscious and biodegradable sunscreens and skin care that doesn’t damage our waters or our bodies. We’ll share our lab work, trials, and findings as we take our products through biodegradability and aquatic toxicity tests.

Biodegradable Sunscreen
Discussion on TripAdvisor


Top

Links
Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!


Things to do

News
Daily News
Daily Weather

Classified Ads
BelizeNews.com
San Pedro Sun
Ambergris Today
SP Town Council
Channel 7
Channel 5
Amandala
Love FM
The Reporter
Caye Caulker
Chronicles

PLUS TV
TV Newscasts
Radio Stations

Click for our
Search thousands of Belizean-only websites

Event Guides
Event Calendar
Specials & Events
Things to Do
SanPedroScoop
iTravel Belize
Paradise Theater

Blogs
San Pedro Scoop!
Tia Chocolate
Tacogirl
My Beautiful Belize
I-Travel Belize
Belize Adventure
Belize Hub
Romantic Travel
Bound for Belize
Conch Creative
As The Coconuts Drop
More Blogs...
Search thousands of Belizean-only websites
Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
Caribbean Inspired All Natural Condiments & Spice Blends, Over 100 are Gluten Free!
We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
Conch Shell Inn: All rooms are right on the beach in the heart of San Pedro, so within walking distance to anything and everything!!
Lil’ Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
Mini Chat

Cayo Espanto
Click for Cayo Espanto, and have your own private island
More Links
Click for exciting and adventurous tours of Belize with Katie Valk!
December
S M T W T F S
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Who's Online
1 registered (1 invisible), 42 Guests and 6 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
18,676 Registered Members
44 Forums
64,079 Topics
462,375 Posts

Most users ever online: 1,262 @ 06/10/07 07:16 PM




AmbergrisCaye.com CayeCaulker.org HELP! Visitor Center Goods & Services San Pedro Town
BelizeSearch.com Message Board Lodging Diving Fishing Things to Do History
BelizeNews.com Maps Phonebook Belize Business Directory
BelizeCards.com SanPedroDaily.com Picture of the Day

The opinions and views expressed on this board are the subjective opinions of Ambergris Caye Message Board members
and not of the Ambergris Caye Message Board its affiliates, or its employees.