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Sun Cream is Damaging Coral Reefs

Sun Cream is Damaging Coral Reefs

The Pacific Island of Palau has taken the leap to become the first nation to ban any sun creams that are harmful to coral and sea life. This is a huge step for the conservation of our coral reefs that are so valuable to our shorelines. This comes as a result of the ban that was announced back in 2018, to ban any sun cream products with 10 specific ingredients, which include oxybenzone and octinoxate. Both of these absorb ultraviolet light and as a result, the corals don’t receive the light they need to stay alive!
 
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Mr Remengesau (Palau’s President) stated, "When science tells us that a practice is damaging to coral reefs, to fish populations, or to the ocean itself, our people take note and our visitors do too. Toxic sunscreen chemicals have been found throughout Palau's critical habitats, and in the tissues of our most famous creaturesWe don't mind being the first nation to ban these chemicals, and we will do our part to spread the word."
 
These chemicals have been identified as harmful pollutants by the International Coral Reef Foundation and that they are extremely harmful to juvenile stages of not only coral but other wildlife species. 
 
Luckily, the number of sun cream products with these harmful chemicals is swiftly declining and this will hopefully spur other companies to follow suit. 
 
Following this movement, a number of other countries and islands have announced similar bans! Hawaii filed a bill back in 2018 in relation to toxic sun creams polluting the ocean, and this is due to be put in place by 2021. As well as the US Virgin Islands, whose ban will take place from March. 
  
It just goes to show that it just takes one person to change the way we do things and it can cause global change!
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