You may have read that common sunscreen chemicals, including oxybenzone, damage coral in news stories such as "How We are all Contributing to the Destruction of Coral Reefs: Sunscreen" Washington Post, or "Sunscreen Could Be Killing The World's Coral Reefs, Study Says" Huffington Post, or "Sunscreen Killing off Coral" National Geographic. These and all other reports of how sunscreens harm coral are based on just two peer reviewed scientific studies.
• 2015 October: Toxicopathological Effects of the Sunscreen UV Filter, Oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3), on Coral Planulae and Cultured Primary Cells and Its Environmental Contamination in Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. Downs C.A. et al. - CLICK HERE to read an explanation of the study by it's principal author.
• 2008 April: Sunscreens Cause Coral Bleaching by Promoting Viral Infections. Environmental Health Perspectives. Danovaro R, et al. - CLICK HERE to read the full article.
Between 6000 and 14,000 tons of sunscreen washes off swimmers, scuba divers, and snorkelers into coral reef environments each year. Even more sunscreen pollution can reach coastal areas via waste water discharges. Up to 10% of the world's coral reefs may be threatened by certain chemicals found in most sunscreens.
Four common sunscreen ingredients were shown to kill or bleach coral at extremely low concentrations (as low as one drop in 6.5 Olympic sized swimming pools).
Global warming, pollution, and other human activities pose additional and significant threats to the survival of coral reefs. However, the results of these studies should be taken seriously and if you plan to swim, scuba dive, or snorkel in the tropical ocean near coral reefs you should use a coral reef safe sunscreen. How can you tell if a sunscreen is safe for coral reefs?
There are no actual 'Reef Safe' tests, nor are there any official 'Reef Safe' certifications, for sunscreens or any other products. We believe our sunscreens do not have a negative impact on coral reefs for a few reasons:
Badger Reef Safe Sunscreen Products
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