It’s no secret that coral reefs around the world are in major crisis. Also unsurprising: Humans are largely to blame. But what does come as a surprise to many is that a contributor to the damage is none other than sunscreen.
Yep, the same stuff you slather on your epidermis to project against sunburns and skin cancer has been proven to do serious damage to coral reefs. That’s because certain active ingredients in many sunscreens wash off of skin and into ocean water, where they are eventually absorbed by the reef (some ingredients are also absorbed into our bloodstream).