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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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September 2015    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 30, No. 9   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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This Sunscreen May Indeed Have No Effect on Marine Life

from the September, 2015 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Slathering on sunscreen is good for skin protection, but as we've previously written, studies have shown that certain ingredients in sunscreen and other skincare products have been proven highly toxic to corals and marine life. According to NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, even low concentrations of BP-2, used to protect skin against damaging ultraviolet rays, can quickly kill juvenile corals.

While on a Palau liveaboard, Autumn Blum, an avid diver from Tampa, FL, hated watching sunscreen residue and suds from shampoos and conditioners wash overboard after a dive. "The chemist in me knew what the ingredients were, and it was a little troubling," she said. So she decided to create a line of natural body products that was good for both humans and the environment. But as she found out, even "organic" ingredients aren't great for marine life -- her first three natural shampoo products killed every fish in the trial tank....

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