Based on recent Stanford University research, it seems not impossible to develop sunscreens that don’t harm coral reefs — jeopardizing a healthy ecosystem of aquatic life.
According to the US National Park Service, about 6,000 tons of sunscreen are spent annually on coral reefs in the United States alone. It has long been clear that some ingredients are harmful to nature, such as oxybenzone, so these preparations are also banned in many places, such as Hawaii. modern science Report It looks like there may already be a long-term solution to this problem.
For some time, researchers have been studying coral fungi and sea roses, and they found that Animals exposed to water contaminated with oxybenzone died within two weeks – Those who did not survive. Interestingly, unlike human skin, fungal corals and sea roses do not convert sunlight into heat under the influence of oxybenzone, but release free radicals.
The goal will be to develop components with a molecular structure similar to oxybenzone that will then not interfere with the corals’ metabolism. But the story doesn’t stop there, as other ingredients may behave similarly to oxybenzone, so long-term research will still be needed to find a solution.
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