Divers Beware: Is Neutrogena Sunscreen Safe For Coral Reefs?

Diving into the world of scuba is a thrilling experience. It’s an opportunity to immerse oneself in the breathtaking beauty of marine life, and there’s nothing quite like exploring the colorful coral reefs. However, during our diving adventures, we must also take a moment to understand the impact our actions have on the environment. One of the major contributors to coral reef damage is sunscreen. In particular, Neutrogena sunscreen has been a topic of concern. Is it safe for coral reefs? Let’s dive in.

Chemicals in sunscreen can lead to bleaching in coral reefs, which can cause them to die out. This not only affects the coral but also the entire ecosystem of marine life that relies on them for shelter and sustenance. Oxybenzone and octinoxate are two of the most common chemicals found in sunscreens that have been known to harm coral reefs. Unfortunately, these chemicals are also found in Neutrogena sunscreen.

A study conducted at the Haereticus Environmental Research Group found that the chemical oxybenzone was present in over 96% of the sunscreen products tested. This was alarming because the study revealed that a small amount of oxybenzone can have a severe impact on coral reefs. Neutrogena was one of the many popular brands that showed up in the testing results.

However, Neutrogena has taken steps to make their products safer for marine life. The company has introduced a “reef-friendly” line of sunscreens that does not contain oxybenzone or octinoxate. Instead, they use the natural mineral zinc oxide, which does not harm coral reefs. The “reef-friendly” line is labeled “Neutrogena Beach Defense” and “Neutrogena Sheer Zinc.” These products are now replacing the original line of Neutrogena sunscreens, and they are safer for coral reefs.

As divers, we have a responsibility to care for the marine life we explore. The good news is that there are other ways to protect ourselves from the harmful rays of the sun without damaging the environment. One option is UV protective clothing. Wearing a diving wetsuit or rash guard can protect the skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Additionally, you can use a physical barrier like an umbrella or a hat.

It is essential that we take sunscreen use seriously and do our research. Look for the “reef-friendly” label when choosing sunscreen. It is important to remember that we can make a difference. By taking simple steps like using “reef-friendly” sunscreen, we can help protect the coral reefs and other marine life.

In conclusion, diving is a thrilling experience, but we must also take responsibility for protecting the environment. Sunscreen is one of the major contributors to coral reef damage. Neutrogena sunscreen contains harmful chemicals that can harm coral reefs. But, the good news is that Neutrogena has responded and now offers a “reef-friendly” line of sunscreens that is safer for the environment. Additionally, there are other ways to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays, like wearing UV protective clothing. By making conscious choices like choosing “reef-friendly” sunscreen, we can help protect the coral reefs and other marine life we love to explore.

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