Sunscreen Ain't for Coral

Snorkeling among the coral can be one of the most relaxing, beautiful things. You can swim among the fish, and view the vivid colors around you, but there is a common mistake many people make while swimming that is seriously damaging coral. Sunscreen, seemingly innocent, can kill coral reefs.

Benzophenone-2, or BP-2, is a chemical used in sunscreen and other personal care products to help protect against ultraviolet rays. This chemical however, causes problems to coral. BP-2 is poisonous to coral and can kill coral reefs when exposed to too much of the substance. 

BP-2 also bleaches coral, losing their color and beauty. Isn't it sad to see a beautiful coral reef lose its color? And sunscreen can cause mutation to the coral, affecting its DNA. 

mask/snorkel on reef

So what we can do about it? It's definitely important to keep your body safe from the harmful effects of over exposure to the sun, but perhaps if you're going snorkeling or diving around the coral, you can find an alternative to sunscreen.

Using a rash guard and swimming leggings can keep your skin protected from the sun while still avoiding drag in the water.

Or you can simply wear a t-shirt if you don't have access to a rash guard. 

Lets take personal steps to help take care of our underwater life. 

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