It is no doubt that using sunscreen whenever you are going to be in the sun is a healthy habit. For those who have been sunburned only five times in their life, their risk for contracting melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, can be doubled. One in five people will have skin cancer in their lifetime and one person dies every hour from Melanoma. With these statistics, it is no wonder we want to protect ourselves from the harmful rays of the sun!
For a fun day at the beach, it is recommended that you apply sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 15 every two hours and after spending time in the water. However, new studies conducted show that with the amount of chemicals being washed away from sunscreened bodies, more and more harmful effects are occurring throughout the ocean, particularly in coral reefs. Coral reefs are beautiful oceanic ecosystems that provide for a lot of the ocean’s biodiversity, but are being greatly affected by sunscreen pollution in the ocean.
Studies conducted at several reefs throughout the world—in the Caribbean, Fiji, the Red Sea, and Coral Triangle—have shown that the effects of sunscreen pollution affect the coral reefs almost immediately. Some have died within forty-eight hours of coming into contact with sunscreen.
So is the best solution to stop wearing sunscreen and risk contracting skin cancer? Absolutely not! Instead, companies are being asked to create bio-friendly sunscreens that won’t pollute the ocean causing harmful effects to the ocean’s wildlife when they are washed away.