[Coral-List] sunscreen and corals

Eugene Shinn eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu
Mon Jan 27 14:40:34 EST 2014

Thank you Cheryl Woodley for alerting coral-listers to the harmful 
effects of benzophenone-2  (used in sunscreens) on coral and coral 
planulae. And I just thought it was coconut oil I was smelling when 
those cattle boats unload hoards of snorkelers on the reef. 
No wonder sunscreen is not allowed on swimmers at some coral reefs in 
Mexico. It was also a surprise to learn that this chemical is used in 
bath salts and other products that go down the drain. As you know we 
documented some years ago that groundwater contaminated by septic tanks 
and shallow disposal wells moves toward the Atlantic and wells up 
offshore. Hopefully the new sewage system being installed in the Florida 
Keys will ameliorate some of the benzophenone-2 from the groundwater. It 
will then go deeper into the Floridan aquifer and hopefully stay there. 
I wonder if sunscreen can be banned from the Florida Keys? Next we need 
to learn if mosquito spraying is harmful to corals. Gene


No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
------------------------------------ -----------------------------------
E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
University of South Florida
College of Marine Science Room 221A
140 Seventh Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
<eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>
Tel 727 553-1158
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