According to a recent study by American scientists, a common ingredient in sunscreen, oxybenzone, is dangerous to coral reefs due to its toxicity, which can lead to their gradual disappearance.
Oxybenzone is a UV-filtering chemical found in 3, 500 tanning creams. If it gets into the water, even in small quantities, it has a detrimental effect on young growing corals, and in higher concentrations it leads to the death of adults as well.
An international team of scientists led by Craig Downs has recorded the highest concentrations of oxybenzone in coral reefs in Hawaii and the Caribbean. According to the researchers, it was this factor that became the main reason for the disappearance of young corals in resort areas.
As it turned out, oxybenzone changes the DNA of corals, reduces their immunity, making them completely defenseless against some critical endocrine diseases. Meanwhile, between 6, 000 and 14, 000 tons of oxybenzone sunscreen lotions alone are released into the atmosphere annually, which are carried thousands of kilometers away by winds.