Summer is a vacation time. Many are attracted to the sea. Apart from destinations in Europe, there are also more exotic tourist destinations. And whoever does vacation by the sea, of course, must pay attention to enough sunblocks. But this can only be dangerous to the environment. The ingredients of sunscreen and sprays dissolve in water and can pose a risk to the ecosystem. Especially for reefs. We will tell you what to look for so that your sunscreen will not endanger the riders.
Avoid dangerous ingredients
Two of the most harmful chemicals for marine ecosystems are octinoxate and oxybenzene, also known as benzophenone. Both chemicals are contained in a relatively large number of sunscreen and are intended to protect the skin from burns by converting harmful UV rays to the heat. In water, however, both chemicals become a danger that can bring corals to their natural defenses. Sensitive structures become more sensitive to whitening corals. In addition, chemicals can reduce coral growth.
Even small amounts of two chemicals can have serious consequences for coral reefs. In Hawaii, reefs have to wear about 6,000 tons of sunscreen every year, which is about ten times more than they can tolerate. However, sunscreen is not the only source of octinoxane and oxybenzone. Both chemicals can also enter the sea through sewage, as many wastewater treatment plants are not designed to filter them out of the water.
You should also avoid cyclopentasiloxane and cyclomethicone based on silicone. They are considered to be miraculous skin products, but have detrimental effects on the reproductive organs of marine animals.
What are the ingredients safe?
Sunscreens that are safe for underwater ecosystems are usually based on minerals and contain zinc and titanium oxide. These ingredients do not have a negative impact on the ridge. Mineral sunscreen creams do not absorb into the skin, but form a kind of protective layer on the skin surface. Sunscreens with mineral particles over 100 nanometers are considered safe for coral reefs.
Creams instead of sprays
Generally, avoid sprays that apply sunscreen as an aerosol. In this type of application, a relatively large amount of sunscreen ends in the air and then in the sand to find the way to the water. Aerosol sprays are also harmful to the respiratory system of people, making them a bad choice.
Also pay attention to the labels
More and more manufacturers identify their sunscreens accordingly, if it is considered safe for coral reefs. Although it is a commendable step, it is still worth a look at the list of ingredients. Since there is no standardized label in this regard, many declared as "friendly" products are simply not quite that. There are no rules that determine when a company can mark its products as safe for underwater coral reefs and ecosystems.
The less chemicals, the better
Generally, when you go to the beach, you have to do as many chemical products as possible. Because: The less chemicals entering the water, the better. Therefore, avoid using too much chemical personal care products before going to the beach.
As a sunscreen can not (and should not) be avoided, you should be careful to buy a sunscreen containing as little harmful substances as possible.