Reef Safe SunCare has developed a biodegradble and more environmentally friendly sunscreen and has earned the approval of Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society. The Florida-based company Beach Buff that owns the brand is hoping to increase the public awareness of the possible impact suncreens and skincare products have on the fragile reef ecosystems. Beach Buff will use a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Reef Safe to support the Ocean Futures Society work to protect ocean and marine life.
Most beach goers don’t realize the possible impact the sunscreen may play on the environment. Research has shows that an estimated 4,000 to 6,000 metric tons of potentially toxic sunscreen is washed off swimmers and into the oceans every year. By taking the product to independent laboratories, Reef Safe has shown that when washed off it takes 90 days to biodegrade in seawater or freshwater with no toxicity issues.
Besides the ability to break down and not pose a lingering toxic effect, the company notes that most conventional sunscreen formulas have a 25% wash off rate adding to the overall problem. Reef Safe’s formula stays on the body better with a slight 3% wash off rate.
Scientists at the University of Marche, Italy, have been working on research indicating the ingredients in the sunscreens can promote viral infections in coral leading to coral bleaching. According to the research led by Roberto Danovaro, the organic UV filters and preservatives in these products could contribute to the coral bleaching coral if released into their environment.
The agreement between Reef Safe and the Ocean Futures Society has co-branding of the product with endorsements from Cousteau to draw attention to the growing body of evidence suggesting that sunscreens can pose a significant toxic risk to both coral reefs and an extensive range of marine life.
[via Cosmetics Design]