Do Your Part for Ocean Reefs this Songkran

Fish, Coral, Great Barrier Reef, Underwater, Water

This Songkran, many people will be heading for the beaches of Thailand. And those who are smart and care about their skin will be bringing along some sunscreen. 

But many people are not aware that the type or brand of sunscreen you choose to slather on can affect the health of marine life and ocean reefs. Sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate are the harmful culprits.

While these two chemicals can help protect your skin from the UV rays that cause sunburn, they have an opposite effect on the reefs. Scientists consider the chemicals to be responsible for the bleaching of coral reefs around the world. The phenomenon of bleaching is slowly decimating the reefs of the world and leading to the destruction of the fish and wildlife that inhabit these reefs. 

So serious is the damage caused by these chemicals that they’ve been banned in many marine parks and preserves around the world. The Florida Keys, Hawaii, parts of Mexico, the Marshall Islands, Palau, and the Virgin Islands have all enacted bans on oxybenzone and octinoxate.

Check Your Sunscreen

While some sunscreens on the market proudly advertise that they’re reef-safe, others haven’t been as forthcoming. But any product meant to be used on the human body should have the ingredients listed on the label. 

When checking the labels of sunscreens before you buy them, you should “say no to the Os”. No oxybenzone and octinoxate. If you want to be sure of choosing an eco-friendly sunscreen, simply Google ‘reef-safe sunscreens’, and you’ll be rewarded with a whole list of sunscreen brands that are safe to be worn in the world’s oceans.

Do your part to save the world’s reefs from the disastrous effects of bleaching by ensuring you’re using reef-safe sunscreen this Songkran.     

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