Is your sunscreen reef-safe?
Between 6,000 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.
What can you do to help?
- The US National Park Service, PADI (the Professional Association of Underwater Instructors), and numerous eco-tour operators (including coral reef parks in Mexico) recommend that you avoid sunscreens with oxybenzone and use only mineral based sunscreens to help protect coral reefs. So if you plan to swim, scuba dive, or snorkel in the tropical ocean near coral reefs you should use sunscreen with a mineral active ingredient.
- Do not use a sunscreen that contains oxybenzone, butylparaben, octinoxate or 4-methylbenzylidene (4MBC) as these ingredients have been proven to kill or bleach coral at extremely low concentrations.
- Use a water resistant sunscreen which will be more likely to stay on your skin and out of the water.
- Use a sunscreen that has been tested biodegradable which ensures that the product will break down in the environment.
- Use common sense before even reaching for a sunscreen. Cover yourself with a hat and shirt (or a rash guard in the water), and seek shade during peak sun hours.
Are Badger’s Sunscreens Reef-Safe and Reef Friendly?
Our sunscreens do not contain any oxybenzone, butylparaben, oxtinoxate or 4MBC.
The active ingredient in Badger sunscreens is non-nano zinc oxide. It is a powdered mineral that will not dissolve in seawater and instead will eventually settle to the seafloor, like silt, and become buried in the sediment.
The inactive ingredients of our water resistant sunscreens (making up 77-88%) are USDA Organic plant oils, beeswax, and vitamin E.
Badger sunscreens are tested biodegradable and safe for any environment or ecosystem.
Happy World Oceans Day, and here’s to many more!