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#281375 - 05/23/08 02:30 PM Sun screen lotion threatens coral: study  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 56,963
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
Fri May 23, 11:40 AM ET
Sun screen lotions used by beach-going tourists worldwide are a major cause of coral bleaching, according to a new study commissioned by the European Commission.

In experiments, the cream-based ultra-violet (UV) filters -- used to protect skin from the harmful effects of sun exposure -- caused bleaching of coral reefs even in small quantities, the study found.

Coral reefs are among the most biologically productive and diverse of ecosystems, and directly sustain half a billion people. But some 60 percent of these reef systems are threatened by a deadly combination of climate change, industrial pollution and excess UV radiation.

The new study, published in US journal Environmental Health Perspectives, has now added sun screens to the list of damaging agents, and estimates that up to 10 per cent of the world's reefs are at risk of sunscreen-induced coral bleaching.

Chemical compounds in sunscreen and other personal skin care products have been detected near both sea and freshwater tourist areas. Previous research has shown that these chemicals can accumulate in aquatic animals, and biodegrade into toxic by-products.

Researchers led by Roberto Danovaro at the University of Pisa in Italy added controlled amounts of three brands of sunscreen to seawater surrounding coral reefs in Mexico, Indonesia, Thailand and Egypt.

Even small doses provoked large discharges of coral mucous -- a clear sign of environmental stress -- within 18 to 48 hours. Within 96 hours complete bleaching of corals had occurred.

Virus levels in seawater surrounding coral branches increased to 15 times the level found in control samples, suggesting that sunscreens might stimulate latent viral infections, the study found.

Pesticides, hydrocarbons and other contaminants have also been found to induce algae or coral to release viruses, hastening the bleaching process.

According to the World Trade Organisation, around 10 per cent of tourism takes place in tropical areas, with 78 million tourists visiting coral reefs each year.

An estimated 4,000 to 6,000 tonnes of sunscreen are released annually in reef areas, with 25 per cent of the sunscreen ingredients on skin released into water over the course of a 20 minute submersion.

Sunscreens are made of around 20 compounds acting as UV filters and preservatives. Seven were tested for the study, including parabens, cinnamates, benzophenones and camphor derivatives.

#281377 - 05/23/08 02:39 PM Re: Sun screen lotion threatens coral: study [Re: Marty]  
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 6,706
Amanda Syme Offline
Amanda Syme  Offline
There are some sunscreens that are less threatening (more sea friendly.) I remember reading about it in SCUBA or SCUBA DIVING magazine lately.

#281388 - 05/23/08 05:07 PM Re: Sun screen lotion threatens coral: study [Re: Amanda Syme]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 56,963
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
i HIGHLY recommend Mexitan. all organic, uses green tea. works awesome i use it all the time. 100% biodegradable

[Linked Image]

#281405 - 05/23/08 07:37 PM Re: Sun screen lotion threatens coral: study [Re: Marty]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,292
tacogirl Offline
tacogirl  Offline
Looks good Marty - wish someone would start selling products like that here. I miss health food shops.

Have you tried their bug spray as well?

tacogirl Facebook, Belize Life Linked In - Belize info & images

#282414 - 06/02/08 02:53 PM Re: Sun screen lotion threatens coral: study [Re: tacogirl]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 56,963
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
yeah the bug spray works pretty well...

#356792 - 11/03/09 10:17 AM Re: Sun screen lotion threatens coral: study [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 367
snorkelgirl Offline
snorkelgirl  Offline
thanks Marty, I'm ordering some of this today.

I could find a Burt's Bees "all natural" locally but it didn't say if it was biodegradable. Do you know if it is?

#356799 - 11/03/09 11:53 AM Re: Sun screen lotion threatens coral: study [Re: snorkelgirl]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 56,963
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
not sure if burts bees is biodegradable. i KNOW mexitan is.

PLUS i am a true believer in the mexitan lotions and oils. its all i ever use and i give it away everywhere i go.

i never get super blistered, but i get a lot of sun. i put a lil of the #2 oil in the water for the last 5 minutes or so of each bath. my skin NEVER peels no matter what since i started doing that. its been YEARS since my skin even got a lil flaky.

the lotion / blocks i use 30 and 8 and mix together to get the middle numbers.

#356804 - 11/03/09 12:37 PM Re: Sun screen lotion threatens coral: study [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 367
snorkelgirl Offline
snorkelgirl  Offline
I ordered the 30 lotion, the after sun moisturizer and 2 lip balms! I think that oughta last one trip : )

#356830 - 11/03/09 03:49 PM Re: Sun screen lotion threatens coral: study [Re: snorkelgirl]  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,046
Peter Jones Offline
Peter Jones  Offline
But why do so many people cover themselves with protective lotion directly before going into the sea? It immediately gets washed off and onto the coral.

#356834 - 11/03/09 04:44 PM Re: Sun screen lotion threatens coral: study [Re: Peter Jones]  
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,825
Hon Offline
Hon  Offline
Much better to wear sun protective clothing like this... [Linked Image]
from SPF 50+ and lasts all day.

Newfoundlanders are the only people in heaven who want to go home.
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