On Wednesday, Hawaii’s legislature passed a bill to outlaw the sunscreen that contains octinoxate and oxybenzone, two chemicals known to harm marine life. Scientists have been warning for years that the two compounds can boost the risk of coral bleaching.
Around 14,000 tons of sunblock reach coral reefs every year.
The two chemicals are found in nearly all chemical sunscreen brands, which are the most popular types of sunblock with the public. Some people started thinking about what risks chemical sunscreens pose to the human body if they can be so devastating to the coral reef.
Nevertheless, sunscreen is not the only danger for the planet’s coral reefs. According to the researchers at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), global warming, agricultural pollution, and excess fishing can also kill off corals.
Chemical Sunscreen Can Cause Cancer Too
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) noted that its experts have been raising concerns about chemical sunscreen for more than a decade. EWG has found traces of oxybenzone in nearly all Americans’ bloodstream.
Past studies have shown that the chemical can damage the endocrine system, and lower the testosterone levels in boys through adulthood.
Octinoxate is suspected to be dangerous as well, even though fewer studies have researched its effects on the human body. EWG recommends using other types of sunscreen as they are equally effective.
Experts recommend sunblock that contains minerals like titanium oxide and zinc oxide. Mineral sunscreen physically blocks harmful sun rays instead of creating a chemical reaction on the skin like chemical sunscreen does.
All Good, a company that manufacturers safer sunscreen, noted that chemical blockers aka as UV absorbers damage the human health and marine systems. All Good warned that the recently banned chemicals can lead to cancer, endocrine issues, and infertility.
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