Chemicals in common sunscreen could kill corals, according to a recent study.

Friend of the Sea, the international certification program from the World Sustainability Organization said it has the answer to harmful oxybenzone,  by certifying sustainable UV creams protecting customers from sunburn and at the same time promoting respect for the environment.

In a press release last week, Friends of the Sea said that “environmentally friendly alternatives to the most found sunscreen products require, at a bare minimum, that they do not contain the worst toxic offenders, oxybenzone and octinoxate. 

“They should also avoid sprays, as a portion eventually lands on the sand and can either affect animals nesting and living there (like turtles) or end up in the water as the high tide comes,” the release said.

Palau was the first country to ban sun cream that is harmful to corals and sea life.

Sun cream that includes common ingredients, including oxybenzone, is not allowed to be sold in the country.

The ban was made during former President Tommy Remengesau’s administration.

Friends of the Sea said corals get stressed by the toxic effects of oxybenzone, a chemical widely used in sunscreen.  

Research published in 2015 showed that oxybenzone could impact the growth of baby corals and was toxic to several different coral species in laboratory tests. 

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