Why more destinations are banning chemical sunscreens

Why more destinations are banning chemical sunscreens

Unless you have been living under stone the last years you must be aware that there is an issue with coral reefs lately.
Pollution, coral collecting, using dynamite for fishing, overfishing and coral mining, just to name a few are causing the coral reefs to die. Approximately 60% of all coral reefs are threatened at present time.


Also the use of chemical sunscreens play a big role in the diminishing of coral reefs. Every year between 6000 and 14000 tons of sunscreens enter the oceans and most of that is done in touristic areas popular for swimming, surfing and diving. It also comes from the sewage systems when you wash of your sunscreen.

Some of the ingredients in chemical sunscreens, oxybenzone and octinoxate have a devastating influence on the coral reefs. These chemicals are damaging the DNA of the corals, they accelerate coral bleaching and cause coral deformities.


These coral reefs are very important for underwater ecosystems and marine life. They protect coastlines from storms and damaging effects of waves but they also are the habitat and shelter of thousands of species and organisms.

Millions of people all over the world are reliant of the coral reefs for food and income but also from medicinal purposes. The coral reefs are good for an enormous €375 billion worth of goods and services like tourism each year.

Because of the importance of the coral reefs many popular tourist destinations are banning chemical sunscreens all together.


Destinations like the tropical paradise islands of Palau, Key West, Hawaii, the Caribbean islands of Aruba and Bonaire, the US Virgin Islands have banned chemical sunscreens but also using chemical sunscreens in canotes in de Mayan Riviera and marine national parks in Thailand is forbidden.

And there are more destinations to comer that will prohibit the use of chemical sunscreens with oxybenzone and octinoxate. Australia is strongly considering a ban and also the state of California has plans.

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