Earth Day – Saving Nemo! -Save money, save your largest organ, save coral!

When swimming, some sunscreen can wash off your body into the surrounding waters, potentially affecting marine life

Save money, save your largest organ, save coral!

Did you know?

A 2008 scientific study showed that some commonly used chemical sunscreen ingredients cause coral bleaching.

  • Each year between 4000-6000 metric tons (4400-6600 US tons) of sunscreen washes off swimmers and snorkelers into coral reef environments.

Four common sunscreen ingredients were shown to cause complete coral bleaching at very low concentrations. They are:

    • Oxybenzone (benzophenone-3) – Sunscreen with several suspected human health effects.
    • Butylparaben – Preservative with several suspected human health effects.
    • Octinoxate (Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate) – Sunscreen with several suspected human health effects.
    • 4-methylbenzylidene camphor (4MBC) – Sunscreen with several suspected human health effects. Allowed in Europe and Canada, not in USA or Japan.
  • Up to 10% of the world’s coral reefs may be threatened by sunscreen induced coral bleaching.

Protecting your skin when swimming and snorkeling is vital.

Chemical sunscreens are not only bad news for coral but must be applied 20 minutes before going in the sun,  reapplied EVERY 2 hours, (more often after swimming and toweling off) but Many do not protect against UVA rays.

Instead wear sun protective clothing with a 30+UPF or higher. A regular white T shirt may give only a 15 UPF and this is further reduced when wet.

Sun protection shirts, swimsuits and sleeves are made with fabrics that keep their sun protection even when wet. They give instant, chemical free sun protection you never have to reapply.

Treat your sun protection clothing gently and it will protect your skin for years, saving you time, money, as well as helping to protect you from skin cancer and coral reefs from extinction!

Nemo hates sunscreen!

Sunscreens Cause Coral Bleaching by Promoting Viral Infections, and it was published in the peer reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives in 2008, Roberto Danovaro and his colleagues at the Marche Polytechnic University in Ancona, Italy.

About sunnysleevez

I'm a freckly red head, originally from London now living in LA with 2 pale children. Frankly with our coloring we have no business being such an outdoorsy family and living in southern California. I grew up in a time when factor 8 sun milk was considered the best protection available to combat the hot rays of a holiday in southern Spain, that lead to 3rd degree burns and the rest of the vacation spent in the shade of our apartment. As a family we love to be outside, going to the beach, camping, swimming & hiking. We can't completely avoid the sun (nor should we) but taking sensible measures to avoid unnecessary UV damage is a priority. How do we do that? By staying in the shade in the middle of the day, wearing sun protective clothing (that's why I created Sunny Sleevez), a broad brimmed hat, UV rated sunglasses, using chemical-free broad spectrum sun screen on exposed areas & eating a healthy diet with as few chemicals as possible & lots of antioxidants.
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8 Responses to Earth Day – Saving Nemo! -Save money, save your largest organ, save coral!

  1. Great advice…and so important to our environment!

  2. Thanks for following my blog — and thank you for exposing the truth about sunscreen!

  3. Pak Liam says:

    Such a good point, Indonesia has so much lovely coral, but much of it is getting ruined.

  4. b r says:

    Oh my goodness. What a great informative post; thank you for sharing! Do you know of any resources that offer natural alternatives to sunscreen?

    • sunnysleevez says:

      The best resource that we know of is
      The EWG (Environmental Working Group) tested the top 500 sunscreens and rates for both effective protection & chemical content so you can make an informed decision about what you use. Two of the mostly highly rated for good UVA & UVB protection as well as being chemical free and reef safe are Badger and California Baby. Both are made in the USA

  5. Sue Bock says:

    Thank you so much for educating me. I think coral is vital to our preservation of our oceans and marine life. Wouldn’t it be nice if the bottle on the sunscreen said hazardous to marine life?
    Sue Bock

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