Follow us twitter facebook
Edition: Global
Click here to subscribe toour free weekly newsletter click here
Environment

Sunscreens participate in the destruction of coral reefs

Researchers at the Polytechnic University of the Marche*, in Ancona, Italy, found that sunscreens in seawater cause the rapid and complete bleaching of hard corals, even at extremely low concentrations. The scientists believe this effect is due to organic ultraviolet filters in the sunscreens’ formulae, which would stimulate latent viral infections.

The researchers [1] investigated the effects on coral of adding controlled amounts of three brands of sunscreen and common ultraviolet filters to the surrounding seawater. They conducted in vitro and in situ experiments in several tropical regions: the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans, and the Red Sea. Even when sunscreen was added in low quantities, large amounts of coral mucous, composed of algae and coral particles, were released within 18-48 hours. Within 96 hours, complete bleaching of corals had occurred.

Coral reef, by Sam and Ian, Flickr, licence Creative Commons

Coral reef, by Sam and Ian, Flickr, licence Creative Commons

Coral reefs are among the most biologically productive and diverse ecosystems. However, they also appear as being among the most sensitive and are particularly affected by marine pollution and climate change. Sunscreens may act in synergy with other chemical pollutants that have also been pointed out for their negative impact on coral’s health.

According to the Italian researchers, up to 10% of the world coral reefs are potentially threatened by sunscreen-induced coral bleaching. They estimate to 4,000-6,000 tons the amount of sunscreen that tourists dilute in the seawaters in reef areas every year.

Vincent Gallon

Footnotes

[1] Roberto Danovaro, Lucia Bongiorni, Cinzia Corinaldesi, Donato Giovannelli, Elisabetta Damiani, Paola Astolfi, Lucedio Greci, and Antonio Pusceddu, “Sunscreens Cause Coral Bleaching by Promoting Viral Infections », in Environmental Health Perspectives, volume 116, number 4, April 2008

© 2008 - Premium Beauty News - www.premiumbeautynews.com
latest news
Focus
spip-vignette

A new trade show dedicated to clean beauty in London

Dubbed Clean Beauty in London the new trade show intends to gather experts, scientists, suppliers, brands, influencers and journalists under one roof “to build the future of clean beauty.” Taking place on October 12 & 13, 2020 at The Brewery, located at 52 Chiswell Street at the heart of London, the event aims to encourage (...)

read more
job opportunities
Experts’ views
India emerges as the next beauty giant

Asia Cosme Lab
India emerges as the next beauty giant

Thanks to a growing young population (first youth population in the world) and the emergence of a vast middle class, as well as a higher Internet connection from both urban and rural areas, India is set to emerge as the next beauty giant after China. Asia Cosme Lab took a deep dive in the fascinating Indian market, where both (...)

read more

Features

We use cookies to give you a better browsing experience. By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. Read more and set cookies
close