Sunscreen? I hear it's killing the reefs, Is it "reef safe"? That is the question I hear when I mention sunscreen.
As Covid-19 is becoming something have to live with, people want to be more outdoors than ever, which I strongly support, and we enjoy being back at events protecting people from the UV rays, which I love. When bü sunscreen is misted on, WOW, then, It feels like nothing, does it work? That's the first question, and after making sunscreen for close to 30 years, the answer is YES! It works! Then I hear, is it "reef safe"?
Simple answer is NO, NO sunscreens are REEF SAFE. Then I hear, "Yeah, you're probably right but are some sunscreens "better" than others? "Again, NO, they all cause harm, as do humans IN the reef. There is no regulatory body that determines or identifies what is "reef safe", yet so many companies using the chemical Zinc Oxide or the other chemical Titanium Dioxide, both derived from minerals, marketing them as "reef safe", which makes me shake my head.
LET'S say Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, ARE minerals! IF they are minerals, then they don't biodegrade (breakdown of organic materials into the environment), SO they bio-accumulate, which builds upon the reef. With this logic, this is like putting sunscreen on the coral, and the coral needs the light, UV.
If you look up Zinc Oxide in the National Library of Medicine, you will see the following:
"Crude zinc oxide is a yellow-gray granular solid with no odor. It is insoluble in water. The primary hazard is the threat posed to the environment. Immediate steps should be taken to limit its spread to the environment."
What about Titanium Dioxide?
"TiO2 is one of the main ingredients of sunscreen, where it acts as a protective against harmful UV rays: most major regulatory bodies consider it generally safe for human use at the concentrations used in sunscreens, however, concentrated TiO2 or long term exposure could be toxic to a variety of fish and other aquatic organisms."
Zinc Oxide & Titanium Dioxide do not come 50,000- 100,000 times smaller than found in nature, it's a chemical process to make into a powder for skin/suncare products and is no longer a natural mineral.
HOW DID ZINC OXIDE AND TITANIUM DIOXIDE BECOME THE GOLD STANDARD FOR REEF SAFE???
Testing, Testing, Testing, or lack there of, as there is very few tests done on Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide in regard to reef safety.
From articles or sites, I want to share some information below:
The reality is global warming, and pollution are the main culprits of global bleaching events. As for sunscreen, none of them are "good" for the reef or "reef safe":
Smithsonian on "All Sunscreens are harmful to the reefs":
"But just how conclusive the evidence on sunscreen’s impact on coral reefs—and whether consumers should switch to “reef-friendly” sunscreens—remains disputed. According to marine ecology researcher Cinzia Corinaldesi, who has studied the impact of sunscreens on coral reefs since 2003, the problem is that “unfortunately, oxybenzone is not the only harmful ingredient of sunscreens.” Other UV filters, including zinc oxide, are proving to have an impact on coral bleaching—and the ban does nothing to prevent these."
NEW YORK TIMES: Great barrier reef bleaching "hotter water"
Jean Michael Cousteau - Diver Magazine 2012 re: biodegradable sunscreen?
Washington Post: Climate change killed 14% of the world's coral reefs in a decade, study finds:
Website: Center for Biological Diversity - Coral Conservation
"While corals face numerous dangers, the overarching threats of global warming and ocean acidification are the greatest, and they're accelerating the decline of corals around the world."
In today's world, it's hard to discern what it "real/honest/truthful" so I'm happy to provide information and let you make your own decision. I also believe that common sense will rise to the top.
If you are outdoors and NOT in the reef, use a sunscreen that works! and you like. If you are going to one of the two major reefs in North America (60% in Hawaii and 20% of the reefs in Florida), then use UV apparel or stay out if you truly want to save the reef. BUT, if you want to enjoy this magical environment, and don't want to get sunburned, use whatever zinc oxide or titanium dioxide product they will let you use but know that you are not "helping" the reefs.
We care about humans and the planet so, BÜ sunscreen WORKS! Easy to apply, FEELS great on your skin, not cold, greasy, goopy, or sticky. Before any sunscreen formulation went in a bottle, we've considered the environment by using recyclable bottles, recyclable sprayers and producing our products using Solar Power, making it virtually carbon neutral.
TO SAVE the reefs, stay out of them, stop global pollution, more importantly global warming at this pace, and let us all try to make better choices in our daily life, from water bottles to gasoline usage to suncare. Always Be You! BÜ