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

Hector Reyes hreyes at uabcs.mx
Mon Mar 1 11:00:30 EST 2010

dear coral listers, is this true? the so called damage to corals by suntan
lotions has no real foundation? It would be really interesting that a
"coral legend" has been the cause why Mexican marine parks force people to
avoid application of any solar protection (sometimes by law; the rule is
actually in some management plans), and that way probably are affecting
their health by UV skin damage...

Hector Reyes

> Catherine,
> 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
> Head
> 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,
> Catherine
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Héctor Reyes Bonilla
Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur
Departamento de Biología Marina
Apartado postal 19-B, CP 23080. La Paz, B.C.S.

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