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The Impacts of Sunscreen.

  • Chemicals in some sunscreens can harm marine life. Avoid oxybenzone, benzophenone-1, benzophenone-8, OD-PABA, 4-methylbenzylidene camphor, 3-benzylidene camphor, nano-titanium dioxide, nano-zinc oxide, octinoxate, and octocrylene.

  • Mineral sunscreens (e.g., titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) are generally safer choices (though not perfect because of the nanoparticles in them).

  • Do not use spray-on sunscreen. Much of the stream ends up in the environment without ever protecting anyone’s skin. It is also unhealthy to inhale.

  • Shower before going into natural waters, as personal care products like sunscreen, oils, leave-in conditioners wash off into the waters, build up over time and disrupt the ecosystem.

  • Avoid using sunscreen altogether by covering exposed skin with hats, long sleeves, and hand coverings. While this is the only truly environmentally friendly option, skin cancer is still a concern on the face and neck, so be sure to cover up there, too.

  • Seek shade between 10 am and 2 pm, when UV radiation from the sun is greatest.

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