[Coral-List] Harmful effects of suntan lotion on coral reefs?

Boland, Gregory S Gregory.Boland at mms.gov
Mon Mar 1 07:53:44 EST 2010


There was one paper that was published in April 2008 that misrepresented
the subject title by implying it related to impacts in the field.  I
believe this is the one that stirred some debate at the time and other
unfounded implications of actual impact of sunscreens on corals.  I
posted a comment to the list in May.  The paper is by Danovaro et al. in
Elemental Health Perspectives.  This work exposed corals to sunscreen
inside 2 l plastic bags, a far cry from what would happen in open water.
The paper's conclusions directly implied in situ impacts by saying "up
to 10% of the world reefs is (sic) potentially threatened by sunscreen
induced coral bleaching." and "Actions are therefore needed to stimulate
the research and utilization of UV filters that do not threaten the
survival."  As mentioned previously; at best, "potential" can be
claimed, but nothing more without some evidence of actual impacts in
open water.  If there is any new research that obtained measured
signatures of sunscreen in open water next to a coral with snorkelers
overhead, that would be remarkable.   

Greg Boland

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Catherine
Sent: Monday, March 01, 2010 5:59 AM
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: [Coral-List] Harmful effects of suntan lotion on coral reefs?

Dear all,

I'm looking for information and any evidence of the harmful effects of
suntan lotion on corals.
If you know of any papers or research on this topic I'd very much
appreciate it if you could please let me know (email:
catherine.head at zsl.org).

Many thanks for your attention,


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