Toxic sunscreens are being banned. It is about time. The Republic of Palau, an island in the western Pacific ocean, has passed a new law, as of January 2020, banning the sale and use of sunscreen skincare products that contain toxic chemicals.* This follows on Hawaii’s proposed ban of 2 of the toxic ingredients, oxybenzone or octinoxite , that will take place in 2021. Other tourist destinations (eg, Akumal, Mexico) warn visitors NOT to use sunscreen that will damage the coral. (Unfortunately, just last year, Miami Beach reneged on any ban, saying that there was lack of evidence.) Some heads remain buried in the sand.
However, the ban in Hawaii will NOT be applied to medically prescribed sunscreens or makeup that contain the toxic oxybenzone or octinoxite. ‘Why not?’, I ask. There is makeup available without the harsh chemicals. A doctor can easily change the prescription to a healthier alternative if you ask.
Toxins present in many sunscreens are destroying the coral reefs and damaging our environment. We have already lost about half of the world’s coral reefs. Popular reefs are especially vulnerable. Palau's Government spokesman told the ABC's Pacific Beat program in November that on any given day, three to five gallons (about 20 litres!) of sunscreen ends up in the ocean at Palau's diving hotspots.
Our wastewater systems transport sunscreens. Whether swimming, diving or showering it is said over 14.000 tons of sunscreen enter our oceans annually. Kudos to those who are doing something about it. It is not just sunscreens that wash down our drains. Years ago I wrote an article ‘A Fish Called Wand’ illustrating tricolsan as a culprit for the sex change of the male fish to female.
Check your suntan lotion. Whether at home, at the lake or the ocean, whether or not you are travelling to sunnier destinations, you SHOULD not be using any cosmetic with any of these banned substances. We can all do our part to save the environment.
Refuse to buy them. Read the labels and choose something safer, better, healthier for you and the fish. Sunscreens containing zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are approved for use.
Good old zinc
We do make a wonderful skin care product with zinc. Our Zinc Oxide blend has been accepted and approved as a wonderful natural skin care and can be sold as a moisturizer that does help in protecting against weather elements. People do love it. See our articles on our zinc oxide. The Four seasons of Zinc, Baby is Better with Zinc, Less Pink with Zinc, Titanium Dioxide May Mean Trouble and more
Toxic Ingredients found in sunscreens
· Oxybenzone (benzophenone-3)
· Ethyl paraben
· Octinoxate (octyl methoxycinnamate)
· Butyl paraben
· 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor
· Benzyl paraben
· Methyl paraben
Watch what you wear in the water. Our environment is in peril.
Consider, also, the damage done to your skin and body before it is washed away.