I felt like this was too important not to mention. Four common ingredients in sunscreen are the cause of coral reef death according to a recent study. The chemicals wash off of swimmers’ bodies and activate dormant viruses in symbiotic algae that live on the reefs. This symbiotic algae provides reefs with food. It also adds to their color, so when the algae dies due to the virus, the reefs become bleached. About 10% of the world’s reefs are in danger.
Here are the chemicals you should avoid in sunscreen:
- camphor derivative
So before you head to the beach, make sure that what you pick up doesn’t have those ingredients. According to Roberto Danovaro, who headed the study, you should use sunscreens with physical filters that reflect UV rays and eco-friendly chemical sunscreens.