Israel has developed the world’s first sunscreen that protects coral reefs as well as human skin
Not only is the cream formulated without ingredients that harm the ridges, but it also contains minerals that nurture their growth
The Eilat resort teamed up with marine and skin care experts to develop Reef Relief, a sunscreen that includes minerals used by coral farmers and is currently in consumer testing.
Giovanni Giallongo, a marine biologist at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Eilat, said: “Developing a sunscreen that not only does not harm corals, but has the potential to nourish and nurture our reefs, is an important step towards protecting and preserving our oceans. Reef Relief could impact the health of communities underwater and on land”.
An estimated 14,000 tons of sunscreen end up in the world’s oceans each year. It washes off when we swim or shower and enters our waterways.
Most sunscreens—as many as 80 percent—contain chemicals that harm coral reefs, causing bleaching (when algae, their primary food source, are expelled from coral tissue) and interfering with photosynthesis and growth.
While some manufacturers have begun to remove harmful chemicals such as oxybenzone, no formulation has included minerals that actually benefit coral reefs until now.
The new sunscreen also includes a new certification called RPF (Reef Protection Factor). The city hopes that this certification will become an industry standard and help consumers make responsible decisions around the world.
“This is a way to identify a sunscreen that really cares for the coral,” Giallongo said. “RPF Brand as Industry Standard: This Could Be a Game Changer.”
Eilat is home to the northernmost shallow reef on the planet, with more than 100 species of stony corals and 650 species of fish.
Source: PC Press by pcpress.rs.
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