Galveston, Texas (WiredPRNews.com) — Skin cancer caused by frequent and prolonged exposure to the sun has sent public service groups into full swing pushing the importance of UV protection in the form of high-powered sunscreen. However, according to a recent study commissioned by the European Commission, the large amounts of sunscreen being flushed into the water by tourists nationwide is a major cause for the vast amounts of coral bleaching.
The experiment used a test group of cream-based ultra-violet (UV) filters and found that even small amount of of the sunscreen lotions caused harmful coral bleaching. According to the AFP, “Coral reefs are among the most biologically productive and diverse of ecosystems, and directly sustain half a billion people. But some 60 percent of these reef systems are threatened by a deadly combination of climate change, industrial pollution and excess UV radiation.”
In fact, the US journal Environmental Health Perspectives conducted a study which found that UV blocking sunscreen is now a major damaging agent to coral and further estimated that at least 10% of the world’s natural corals are at risk for bleaching. With over 78 million tourists snorkeling to into warm, shallow waters each year to witness the world’s most naturally breath-taking creations, it appears that tourists may be doing more harm than good. “An estimated 4,000 to 6,000 tonnes of sunscreen are released annually in reef areas, with 25 per cent of the sunscreen ingredients on skin released into water over the course of a 20 minute submersion.”
It seems that UV radiation’s harmful effects are found in many more ways that just the warm rays from the afternoon sun. Unfortunately, what is good for your skin is detrimental to the very thing tourists go to see in the crystal blue waters. So what is a tourists best bet to preserve these coral creatures?
Visit http://www.pristineplanet.com for organic, all natural sunscreens that are safe for your skin and friendly to the environment.