Every parent is concerned about the time their children spend in the sun. Kids just want to get out there and enjoy the warm rays. It's well known that overexposure to sun can damage delicate skin, destroy skin cells and potentially cause and contribute to skin cancer in the future. This can happen unless delicate skin is protected with a high quality sunscreen. The most harmful rays are UV rays, so these are the sun's rays that most sunscreens shield skin from.
But did you know that sunscreens which contain several commonly used ingredients can also harm the delicate coral reef, especially if they're applied to skin right before getting into salt water? Ingredients like Octinoxate, Oxybenzone, Benzophenones and Paraben are the main offenders that could harm the coral reef ecosystem. The good thing is, you can now find reef safe sunscreen so you can protect kids while keeping the coral reef safer.
Ingredients That Harm Coral Reefs
The ingredient Benzophenone is an ingredient that bleaches coral reef. It can also cause mutations in the reef and damage DNA. Oxybenzone commonly causes certain deforming actions to take place in the reef, and can prevent the reef from being able to reproduce properly. Octinoxate absorbs UV radiation and can re-introduce dormant viruses into algae, which can eventually bleach and kill delicate coral reef formations.
With an imminent potential for damaging the fragile coral reef, many parents today look to use sunscreens on their families that have eliminated many of these possibly harmful ingredients. The newest sunscreens are formulated to keep protecting people from the sun's UV rays while being safer when they are immersed in salt water.
Common Ways Chemicals Damage Fragile Coral Reefs
There are two common ways that introducing chemicals into the delicate underwater ecosystem in a salt water environment can damage coral reefs. The first way is through an interaction that happens between chemicals and salt water. Together they create hydrogen peroxide that can cause phytoplankton growth to be inhibited.
The other way that coral reef can be damaged is by chemicals acting to renew viruses that were once dormant in coral. This can bleach coral reefs and damage or destroy algae, which is essential to healthy coral reefs. It pays to use a safer sunscreen that is just as effective in preventing exposure to harmful rays while protecting the environment.