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Sunscreens Linked to Coral Bleaching
LatitudeAdjustment - 2/15/2014 9:50 AM
Category: Health & Safety
Replies: 3

From DAN’s Alert Diver; Most commercially available sun-care products are harmful to corals, and the effect is not dose-dependent. The sunscreens activate viral infections that are generally latent, similar to the mechanism by which herpes appears on humans’ lips (cold sores) in the presence of ultraviolet (UV) light. It is an on/off mechanism determined by the compounds contained in the sunscreens. - See more at:

How To Recognize Safe Sunscreens
It is simple to determine whether a sunscreen is harmful to the marine environment: Ignore what is written on the front, turn over the package, and read the ingredients. First note the presence of preservatives, then go through the list of chemical UV filters. The sunscreen is lethal for the corals and should be avoided if the product contains parabens (common preservatives such as butylparaben) or any of the following chemical filters:

BMDBM (4-tert-butyl-4-methoxydibenzoylmethane benzophenone
BZ (benzophenone-3)
MBC (4-methylbenzylidene camphor)
OMC (ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate)
OCT (octyl methoxycinnamate)
BEMT (bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine)
any component that includes the term –benzene
- See more at:

Full story;
Eric_R - 2/15/2014 3:43 PM
Thanks for that informative post. I hope they can get shops and stores near beaches to remove these products from their shelves.
rashley - 2/15/2014 5:44 PM
Wow, I never would have imagined that. Thank you for sharing with us. I will be more conscientious when I select sun screen in the future.
RAWalker - 2/15/2014 9:46 PM
Although this is part of the problem associated with bleaching coral it isn’t by any means a solution. If we were to remove just this factor (which in itself is a worthy project) Corals would still be bleached at a incredible rate. Another known chemical known to aggravate the problem is phosphates that flow into the waters. These are known to exist in cleaning agents and fertilizers and have shown a link in starfish reproduction/growth and bleaching.