Label Chemical Sunscreens that Harm Fragile Coral Reefs

Target: Food and Drug Administration, Office of Nonprescription Products

Goal: Label chemical sunscreens that contain paraben, cinnamate, benzophenone, and camphor derivatives as harmful to coral reef health.

Coral reefs are considered the rainforests of the sea due to the highly complex and biodiverse aquatic ecosystems that they support. Unfortunately, coral reefs are highly sensitive to even the slightest changes in water temperature and chemical balance. Current research now demonstrates that reefs are being threatened by the chemicals found in many common brands of sunscreen.

It may sound unbelievable that the sunscreens we use when we spend time in the ocean can have a negative effect on aquatic life, but when we take into account the numbers of swimmers, snorkelers and scuba divers around the world that use chemical sunscreens, the quantity of chemicals that make their way into the water become much more significant.

Researchers estimate that 4,000 to 6,000 metric tons of sunscreen wash off people annually. As a result, up to 10 percent of the worlds’ coral reefs are now threatened by sunscreen-induced bleaching. The synthetic chemicals used in sunscreen to absorb UV rays and have been linked to coral bleaching are: paraben, cinnamate, benzophenone, and camphor derivatives.

Coral reefs support a huge variety of fish and other marine life. Without healthy coral reefs, a terrible number of fish species would disappear. As such, it is critical that the FDA label chemical sunscreens that are harmful to reef health so consumers can make educated purchases.

There are a variety of non-chemical sunscreens available in the market today that do not have a detrimental effect on the health of coral reefs. Nano-free, mineral sunscreens such as Jason Mineral Natural Sunblock or Burt’s Bees Chemical-Free Sunscreen protect both our skin and the ocean’s reef ecosystems.

Sign the petition below to urge the FDA to require labeling on chemical sunscreens that are harmful to coral reefs.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear FDA Office of Nonprescription Products Administrator,

Current research now demonstrates that coral reefs are being threatened by the chemicals found in many common brands of sunscreen. Coral reefs are considered the rain forests of the sea due to the highly complex and biodiverse aquatic ecosystems that they support. Unfortunately, coral reefs are highly sensitive to even the slightest changes in water temperature and chemical balance.

Researchers estimate that 4,000 to 6,000 metric tons of sunscreen wash off people annually. As a result, up to 10 percent of the worlds’ coral reefs are now threatened by sunscreen-induced bleaching. The synthetic chemicals used in sunscreen to absorb UV rays and have been linked to coral bleaching are: paraben, cinnamate, benzophenone, and camphor derivatives.

Without healthy coral reefs, a terrible number of fish species would disappear. As such, it is critical that the FDA label chemical sunscreens that are harmful to reef health so consumers can make educated purchases. I urge you to begin the process of requiring sunscreen companies to label their chemical products and protect both human health and ocean life.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Sign the Petition

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One Comment

  1. All of these chemicals are deceptive since they enter the water in huge amounts when multiplied by the number of users. The same goes for laundry detergents, fabric softeners and fragrances, which contain the same toxic compounds. Corporations don’t care about anything but the money.

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