Sunscreen poses another threat to coral reefs

Coral reef with anenomieFrom Deutche Welle, April 13, 2018.

Some chemicals in sunscreen can kill corals, researchers have discovered. So how to protect your skin and reefs at the same time? DW reports from Bonaire in the Caribbean.

At a dive center on the island of Bonaire in the Caribbean Sea, about a dozen scuba divers — including me — are getting ready for their dive to the coral reef. It’s only 9 o’clock in the morning, but the sun is already burning. Before I slip into my wetsuit, I quickly duck into the shade.

Bonaire, 60 kilometers (37 miles) off the Venezuelan coast, markets itself as “diver’s paradise.” The coral reef begins as close as 20 meters (66 feet) from the beach, and abounds with brightly colored corals, fish and other sea creatures.

But this paradise — and its income from tourism — is in danger, due to global warming and seawater pollution.

And now, evidence suggests that even sunscreen, an absolute requirement at a sun-drenched spot like this, may be a part of the problem.

Read the article.