Save Fragile Coral Reefs From Toxic Sunscreens

Target: Dr. Stephen M. Hahn, Commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Goal: Do not allow coral reefs to suffer by unregulated pollutants in sunscreen.

Multiple different active ingredients in chemical sunscreens used by millions of people in the United States are threatening coral reefs. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not define or regulate “reef friendly” or “reef safe” sunscreens, despite the fact that these toxins are well-studied and known pollutants. The FDA also does not have any testing protocols that sunscreens must go through in order to ensure that their ingredients are safe for coral reefs.

Currently, the state of Hawaii and the city of Key West in Florida have created laws that will ban the nonprescription sale of sunscreens that contain Oxybenzone and Octinoxate starting on January 1, 2021. However, the United States has not made any changes to prevent these harmful toxins from being sold elsewhere. Additionally, although sales will be banned, the actual use of these sunscreens is not prohibited.

Coral reefs are delicate ecosystems that must be protected. Sign this petition to urge the FDA to create definitions and tests to ensure that all sunscreens sold in the United States are reef safe.


Dear Dr. Hahn,

Sunscreen has been touted by the medical world as a daily necessity for humans because of its outstanding ability to counteract preventable skin cancers. However, scientists have now discovered that so many of the chemicals that protect humans are toxic to coral reefs. Each and every time a person slathered in chemical sunscreen steps into the ocean, these fragile ecosystems are at risk. Like many skin cancers, this destruction of the coral reefs is preventable.

There are currently no FDA guidelines, definitions, or tests to determine if sunscreens are safe not only for humans but also for the environments in which these products are used. I urge you to develop guidelines for reef safe sunscreens so that all sun protection products sold in the US do not risk harm to coral reefs.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: NOAA

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  1. This is the FDA’s OBLIGATION to create definitions and tests to ensure that all sunscreens sold in the United States are reef safe.

  2. Nothing that isn’t natural is good for the environment or humans. Best sunscreen is a big shady tree ( while we have some left). A long sleeve shirt, wide hat, UV sunglasses and take sun only in early morning and late afternoon. Just do what animals do and you’ll be fine. Unless you want to do it the human way and be out on the sun the whole day, trust the FDA on the sunscreen, get a dark suntan to impress other humans, “Hey look at how roasted I am!” Then you should also take sometime in learning about types of skin cancers.

  3. Maria Bertrand says:

    Agree with you Jose. Humans have methods to protect against the sun…so stop using needless toxins!

  4. Maria Bertrand says:

    Agree with you totally Jose. Humans have many different ways to protect themselves against the sun’s damage. So stop using needless toxins!

    How many different ways must you POISON this earth!!

  5. Michelle Stewart says:

    Fix all the sunscreens so they aren’t harmful anymore

  6. Terri Manabe says:

    We have to do what we can to preserve all coral reefs. This is the lifeline of the ocean and the creatures that live there. Sunscreen is important but not at the cost of our environment. I’m sure there are natural sunscreens like their are shampoos, soaps, laundry detergent, etc. However Corporations need to get their act together and start thinking about our Earth and becoming “green” friendly!

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