Sunscreen : a major threat to the oceans

Health 8 August, 2017


Published the 07.08.2017 at 11h54


Keywords :

cream solaireenvironnementperturbateurs endocrinienspollution

Dilemma summer : protect your skin from the sun or preserving the oceans, their fauna and flora ? While the health messages raining down on the population, encouraged to apply sunscreen to avoid cancers, another reality comes catching up with vacationers conscientious : marine pollution related to the products anti-UV.

Each year, between 4000 and 6000 tonnes of sunscreen are washed into the seas and oceans of the planet. According to the researchers, a quarter of the amount of cream spread on the body is diluted into the sea at the end of 20 minutes of swimming. With consequences that are still poorly evaluated, but that does not augur well for the health of the marine environment.

Endocrine disruptors

Indeed, several studies have shown the deleterious impact of sunscreens and their components on the plant and animal species in the marine. In 2008, a study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives showed that at least four ingredients, paraben, cinnamate, benzophenone and derivatives of camphor, can kill the corals.

Other work, published in Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 2015, show that oxybenzone sunscreens cause coral bleaching. These substances are also suspected to be endocrine disrupters to humans and marine species.

Mineral filters

However, it should not snub the sunscreen, which is a truly effective way to prevent the risks of skin cancer, including melanoma, induced by UV exposure.

The market for sunscreens is evolving and formulas that is more respectful of nature is put at the point – even if the product is 100% biodegradable does not yet exist. It is thus possible to reduce its impact on the environment while protecting themselves by using creams without chemical components, designed with mineral filters.

Otherwise, there is the good old t-shirt… maximum protection is ensured for the skin and the environment !