Diogenes knew the truth.
Calmly he looked Alexander, the most powerful man on Earth, in the eye and requested, “stand a little out of my sun.”
Few pleasures are greater than basking in the warm sunshine on a sandy beach.
But everything has its price.
Recently, in a Washington Post article, Darryl Fears explains how one of the key ingredients in sunscreen is causing serious damage to coral reefs all over the world:
The sunscreen that snorkelers, beachgoers and children romping in the waves lather on for protection is killing coral and reefs around the globe. And a new study finds that a single drop in a small area is all it takes for the chemicals in the lotion to mount an attack.
The study, released Tuesday, was conducted in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Hawaii several years after a chance encounter between a group of researchers on one of the Caribbean beaches, Trunk Bay, and a vendor waiting for the day’s invasion of tourists. Just wait to see what they’d leave behind, he told the scientists – “a long oil slick.” His comment sparked the idea for the research.
Not only did the study determine that a tiny amount of sunscreen is all it takes to begin damaging the delicate corals — the equivalent of a drop of water in a half-dozen Olympic-sized swimming pools — it documented three different ways that the ingredient oxybenzone breaks the coral down, robbing it of life-giving nutrients and turning it ghostly white.
Read the entire story here.
These are the complicated equations we need to resolve in order to leave behind a world worth living in.
While obviously we can’t abandon our skin to the harmful radiation of over-exposure, we can’t just sit back and say goodbye to one of nature’s greatest ecospheres.
Can we find effective alternatives to the chemicals we’re using now?
Can we use less without increasing the risk of skin cancer?
What do you think? Will you be more careful applying sunscreen from now on?
If you care for our coral reefs, please share this article with all your friends!
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