The simplest way of explaining Oxybenzone is that it is a UV repellent inside most sunscreens. The way that it works on humans is that it stops our skin from absorbing the “harmful” UV lights, resulting in sunburn. However, what researchers have determined in recent years is that this component is being absorbed by the coral reefs, and resulting in bleached and dying coral.
The Impacts of Sunscreen on Coral Reefs
You can imagine that when thousands of tourists a day (all wearing sunscreen) jump into the water, some of this sunscreen is coming off.
You can Download The Impacts of Sunscreen on Coral Reefs here
Did You Know?
The chemical UV filter oxybenzone has been studied most intensively and the following effects have been described:
- Bleaching of coral fragments and coral cells from various species of hard coral. This effect is more pronounced at higher water temperatures.
- Induction of the lytic viral cycle in symbiotic zooxanthellae with latent infections.• Damage and deformation of coral larvae (planulae).
- Damage to coral DNA and to their reproductive success.
I am sure we are in agreement that we don’t want to kill the coral.
But, we also do not want to burn our skin! This leads us to our next question….
Luckily, the solution is simple. New technology has brought us a suncare alternative that does not rely on the harmful Oxybenzone. Instead, we can choose a “Reef Safe Sunscreen”. To make things easy on you, we even stock this item in our Krabi Spesialisten Store!