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Do You Know What’s In Your Sunscreen?

Is your Sunscreen Hurting Coral Reefs?

Many salt-water parks that offer snorkeling now are requiring visitors to use biodegradable sunscreen. Although there is no conclusive research that sunscreen ingredients harm marine life, it makes sense that they could pose a risk, says Bryan Dias from the Reef Environmental Education Foundation in Florida. “[Sunscreen] is pretty viscous; it doesn’t really break down,” he says. “Coral, for example, needs a certain temperature and amount of light, plus salinity within a narrow range, to grow. Putting a large amount of anything in the water can change that,” he says. Fortunately, most sunscreens sold under the natural label are biodegradable because they do not contain petroleum-based products. But make sure you reapply your sunscreen often when using this type of product, since it tends to dissolve more easily and may lose its effectiveness.

One excellent solution good for both you and the coral reefs, Dias says, is to opt for swim clothing that offers UVA and UVB protection. For more information, go to:,, or

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Mel, selected from Natural Solutions magazine

Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living offers its readers the latest news on health conditions, herbs and supplements, natural beauty products, healing foods and conscious living.


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5:24PM PDT on Mar 30, 2011

I've decided to just wear a wetsuit and sunblock on my neck and hands, less harmful over all.

8:20AM PDT on Aug 13, 2009

I am happy to say that I use a sunscreen that is non-toxic to humans and the planet! I have also found a skin care line the is scientifically proven to block ALL free radicals!

1:33PM PDT on Jul 22, 2009

Most of the sunscreens available on the market block damaging radiation through a concoction of different chemical ingredients. These products are normally in the forms of creams or sprays. Once sunscreen is applied onto the skin, the chemicals work to both reflect and scatter the radiation, or absorb it. In recent years, there have been many questions raised about the safety and effectiveness of these chemicals. Some scientists claim these chemicals produce free radicals, which actually increase skin damage and the risk of skin cancer, rather than lowering it. Another concern is that these synthetic chemicals may accumulate in the human body, and can actually reach the blood stream by being absorbed through the skin. Since the goal of using a sunscreen is to protect the body, and not harm it, many consumers have turned to using organic sunscreen to protect their families.

2:11PM PDT on Jul 18, 2009

Sun protection AND exposure is much easier than we think; research, phobias, etc...over the last few decades have confused the topic.
Common sense sun awareness, the way our grandparents and people all over the world cope with sun exposure in the absence of readily available sunscreen, remains the most practical approach. As for sunscreen, conventional zinc oxide is still the safest sunscreen even though it is not currently marketed as a sunscreen. You do not even need a thick white coat to be protected. Even a thin layer will offer some degree of protection. Plain zinc oxide ointments are also much cheaper than any zinc oxide sunscreen product on the market. If you don't like the whitish tint, you can also make your own zinc oxide sunscreen and tint it with iron oxides and mica (same concepts as diy mineral makeup). It is also unclear which came first: consumer demand or the availability and marketing of the cheaper clear sunscreens.

8:29AM PDT on Jul 12, 2009

I appreciate the differences mentioned between sun screens and sun blocks. However, it is not true that UV rays are causing cancer. Rather, the chemicals absorbed into the skin actually encourages cancer mutations.

Another point is, the human body NEEDS some daily sunshine (up to 7 to 15 mins a day is sufficient). Lack of sunshine means the body does not create its own natural Vitamin D. Vitamin D works in synergy with calcium, magnesium and other enzymes; without these absorption of vitamins and nutrients are interfered. An interference with body's metabolism will affect/compromise the body's immunity.

People who do not visit beaches, tanning salons etc and who use sun screens or sun blocks are not protected more from Cancer, in fact the opposite is true.

As for freckles or age spots, they're caused by Omega 6 oils (cooking oils) and iron reacting to free radicals. They are not caused by exposure to sunlight either.

More info, please google for: K "V" Van Cleef , Dr. Raymond Peat and Dr. Kradjian

5:30PM PDT on Jul 7, 2009

Great topic---something we want to start researching!!!

12:18PM PDT on Jul 5, 2009

I'm boycotting these click-through-multiple-page articles.
SO unnecessary.

8:21PM PDT on Jul 2, 2009

I use a sunscreen that is nontoxic to humans and the environment and it is very effective!

1:27PM PDT on Jul 2, 2009

Our phobia of the sun is crazy. Our ancestors did NOT have the cancer rates we have nowadays, and by screening our body against the sun, we are blocking our own access to a very important vitamin, Vitamin D3! Studies are being done currently about the importance of this vitamin.

1:20PM PDT on Jul 2, 2009

Again with multiple pages. And the entire article is not even on the last page. (I tried the "click on the left arrow" trick. It didn't work.) Why do you keep doing this?

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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