It's as easy as 1-2-3 to make a difference!
Step 1 of 3
Learn about the risks that oxybenzone poses to you, your health, your children, and your environment
Oxybenzone resulting toxicities in humans include:
- In Mothers
- Increased breast cancer proliferation
- Decreased gestational weight
- Altered secondary sex ratios- more males than females born
- Increased sex hormone-binding globulin
- Decreased free thyroid T3 and T4 hormone levels
- In Our Babies
- Decreased birth weight in girls
- Increased birth weight in boys
- Lower abdominal circumference, femur length, and weight
- Hirschsprung disease
- Delayed breast development in girls
- Decrease in fat mass during neonatal exposure
- Decreased BMI in 5-6 month old infants
- Altered pubertal development and timing
- Lower testosterone levels in adolescent boys
Oxybenzone resulting toxicities in the ocean include:
- Skewed sex ratios in marine organisms found in coral reefs
- Coral reef zombies (corals that appear healthy but have degraded reproductive effort, gamete viability, fertilization)
- Threat to marine algae (which feeds sea turtles and other ocean life)
- Gender changes in fish, causing male fish to become feminized
- Behavioral changes in fish, reducing their reproductive drive and making them more susceptible to predation
- Deformities in developing embryonic fish
Have you considered:
- It takes only 72 parts per trillion of oxybenzone to harm coral? That's just one drop in 6 1/2 olympic sized pools!
- How much oxybenzone gets sprayed on our bodies when we use chemical sunscreen? More than that.
- Your skin absorbs oxybenzone. How fast you might wonder? Just think, oxybenzone is excreted in the urine within 30 minutes of spraying it on yourself (or your kids).
- So.. Even if you don't go into the water after spraying sunblock, the oxybenzone winds up in the ocean anyway through the sewage system (that's after it runs through your body!).
Step 2 of 3
Make your voice heard by sharing your thoughts
Contact officials in your local and state government and ask them to please ban oxybenzone from your community or anywhere that you care about (and you can throw in a few other nasty chemicals too, like octinoxate, if you like). This type of community input truly makes a difference!
For example, the State of Hawaii passed a bill to ban sunscreens harmful to coral reefs in May of 2018, going into effect on January 1, 2021. Then, later in 2018, the nation of Palau became the first country to ban sunscreens containing any one of 10 prohibited chemicals known to damage coral. This ban will take effect in 2020 (they have their act together!) and will include confiscating the chemicals from tourists when they arrive and fining retailers up to $1000 for selling products containing these harmful chemicals. And! The City of Key West Commission voted 6-to-1 in February 2019 to ban sales of sunscreens containing the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate. This legislation will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021.
Silver Spiral Seas supported a student initiative centered on writing personal e-mails in favor of this ban to Key West representatives. Students from all over the world contacted the commissioners and the mayor, which was incredibly important because they were definitely hearing from the lobbyists for the companies who wanted to keep selling their chemicals in Key West. There was a lot of cheering when this ban passed on the night of February 5th! Within days of Key West’s vote, media outlets world-wide picked up the story, furthering the effort to inform the public of the risks these chemicals bring to our health and our environment. Here is a list of the forward thinking individuals who voted YES to protect their reef.
- Commissioner Weekley - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Commissioner Hoover - email@example.com
- Commissioner Kaufman - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Commissioner Wardlow - email@example.com
- Commissioner Lopez - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mayor Johnson - email@example.com
So, when you contact your local representatives, send them an email asking them to support a BAN ON OXYBENZONE and other harmful chemicals. A one-liner is all you need. Or, if you want to make a bigger impact, take a selfie (here are some free downloads for signs you could hold) so they can see there are real faces behind the concern-- not just lobbyist tactics!
Silver Spiral Seas, LLC with Angelina Kossoff, Cody Miner, Sydney Hauser, Theresa Ciraolo, & Ellie