Sunscreens are essential in protecting your skin from UV rays, but not all of them are great for corals and the marine ecosystem. Research studies have found that several UV-protection substances such as Oxybenzone and Octinoxate could cause coral beaching and threaten the life cycle of coral reefs. The more tourists, the more hazardous substance that could bring into the waters. it is believed that an estimated 14,000 tons of sunscreen were bright into the waters in Hawaii and the Caribbean alone.
In an effort to protect and revive their marine ecosystem, several coastal nations have decided to put a ban on reef-harming sunscreens. Palau, the island nation in West Pacific, became the first country in the world to pass the sunscreen bill, which has been in effect since January 2020. According to Conde Nast Travelers, the other destinations that have banned reef-harmful sunscreens are Hawaii, Florida, US Virgin Islands, Aruba, Mexico's reserves, and Bonaire.
Now, Thailand has become the latest nation to ban coral-threatening sunscreens. The Royal Gazette, earlier today, released a document detailing a ban on the use of sunscreen containing certain types of chemical that harms the coral reefs in any of Thailand's national marine parks. The document stated that the high number of tourists has visited the marine parks and brought in the chemicals from the sunscreen applied on their bodies that maim the liveliness of coral reefs.
The ban is implemented on sunscreen products that contain the following chemicals:
- Oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3, BP-3)
- Octinoxate (Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate)
- 4-Methylbenzylid Camphor (4MBC)
Bringing in and/or use of sunscreen products containing the aforementioned chemicals could cost you up to B100,000 (around USD3,000). The rule will be put into effect immediately.
Bonus: Wanna check whether the UV-protection products you are using contain those chemicals? Click these links: Oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3, BP-3), Octinoxate (Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate), 4-Methylbenzylid Camphor (4MBC), Butylparaben