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Help Ban Oxybenzone PLEASE FOLLOW THESE SIMPLE STEPS TO help save our oceans and ourselves

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
  • Endometriosis
  • 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.

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!

Students from around the world are supporting a Key West ban on oxybenzone

Step 3 of 3

Choose to make a change in your sun protection

  • Best: Coverups including hats, sunwear shirts, rash guards, wraps, and board shorts
  • Okay: Sunscreens made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide without nano-particles (don't worry-- there are hundreds of choices out there!)
  • Never: Products containing oxybenzone, octinoxate, homosalate, octocrylene, avobenzone, and nano-particles

P.S. You don't need take our word for it, here's a just a smattering of the science... :)

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  • Balmer et al (2005) Occurrence of some organic UV filters in wastewater, in surface waters, and in fish from Swiss Lakes. Environ Sci Technol 39:953-962.
  • Tashiro & Shimizu (2013) Concentration of organic sun-blocking agents in seawaters of beaches and coral reefs of Okinawa Island, Japan. Mar Pollut. Bull 77:333-340.
  • Downs et al (2015) Toxicolopathological effects of the sunscreen UV filter, Oxybenzone (benzophenone-3), on coral planulae and cultured primary cells and its environmental contamination in Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. DOI 10.1007/s00244-015-0227-7
  • Sang & Leung (2016) Environmental occurrence and ecological risk assessment of organic UV filters in marine organisms from Hong Kong coastal waters. Sci Total Enviro 556-567:489-498.
  • Ekowati et al (2016) Occurrence of Pharmaceuticals and IV filters in swimming pools and spas. Environ Sci Poll Res. DOI 10.1007/s11356-016-6560-1
  • Dia-Cruz et al (2012) Analysis of UV filters in tap water and other clean waters in Spain. Analyltical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 402:2325-2333.
  • Da Silva et al (2015) The occurrence of UV filters in natural and drinking water in Sao Paulo State (Brazil). Environ Sci Pollut Res 22:19706-19715.
  • Jiang et al (1999) Absorption of sunscreens across human skin: an evaluation of commercial products for children and adults. Br J Clin Pharmacol 48:635-638.
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  • Kunisue et al (2010) Analysis of five benzophenone-type UV filters in human urine by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Analytical Methods 2:707-713.
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  • Calafat et al (2008) Concentrations of the sunscreen agent benzophenone-3 and its derivatives in urine of children and adults from the United States and China. Environ Sci Technol 47:12532-12538.
  • Zhang et al (2013) Benzophenone-type filters in urine and blood from children, adults, and pregnant women in China: partitioning between blood and urine as well as maternal and fetal cord blood. Sci Total Environ 461-462:59-55.
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  • Hany & Nagel (1995) Detection of sunscreen agents in human breast milk. Dtsch Lebensm Rundsch 91:341-345.
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  • NTP (National Toxicology Program) (2006) NTP technical report on the toxicology and carcinogenesis of benzophenone in F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice. NIH Publication # 06-4469
  • Nakajima et al (2006) Activity related to the carcinogenicity of plastic additives in the benzophenone group. J UOEH 28:143–156.
  • Cuquerella et al (2012) Benzophenone photosensitized DNA damage. Acc Chem Res 45:1558–1570
  • Zhao et al (2013) Substituent contribution to the genotoxicity of benzophenone-type UV filters. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 95:241–246
  • Hanson et al (2006) Sunscreen enhancement of UV-induced reactive oxygen species in the skin. Free Radic Biol Med 41:1205–1212.
  • Kerdivel et al (2013) Estrogenic potency of benzophenone UV filters in breast cancer cells: proliferative and transcriptional activity substantiated by docking analysis. PLoS One 8:e60567. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0060567.
  • In et al (2015) Benzophenone-1 and nonylphenol stimulated MCF-7 breast cancer growth by regulating cell cycle and metastasis-related genes via an estrogen receptor a-dependent pathway. J Toxicol Environ Health A 78:492-505.
  • Kim et al (2015) Growth and migration of LNCaP prostate cancer cells are promoted by triclosan and benzophenone-1 via an androgen receptor signaling pathway. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol 39:568-576.
  • Phiboonchaiyanan et al (2016) Benzophenone-3 increases metastasis potential in luncg cancer cells via epithelial to mesenchymal transition. Cell Biol Toxicol DOI: 10.1007/s10565-016-9368-3.
  • Darbre and Alamer (2017) Effects of exposure to six chemical ultraviolet filters commonly used in personal care products on motility of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells in vitro. J Applied Toxicology. DOI: 10.1002/jat.3525.
  • Szczurko et al (1994) Photocontact allergy to oxybenzone: ten years of experience. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed 10:144-147.
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  • Watanabe et al (2015) Metabolism of UV filter benzophenone-3 by rate and human liver microsomes and its effect on endocrine disrupting activity.
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  • Kunisue et al (2014) Urinary concentrations of benzophenone-type UV filters in U.S. women and their association with endometriosis. Environ Sci Technol 46:4624-4632.
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  • Rodriguez-Fuentes et al (2015) Evaluation of the estrogenic and oxidative stress effects of the UV filter 3-benzophenone in zebrafish (Danio rerio) eleuthero-embryos. Ecotoxicol Environ Safety 115:14-18
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  • Coronado et al (2008) Estrogenic activity and reproductive effects of the UV-filter oxybenzone (2-hydroxy-4- methoxyphenyl-methanone) in fish. Aquat Toxicol 90:182–187.
  • Bluthgen et al (2012) Effects of the UV filter benzophenone-3 (oxybenzone) at low concentrations in zebrafish (Danio rerio). Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 263:184–194.
  • Chen et al (2016) UV-filter benzophenone-3 inhibits agonistic behavior in male Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens). Ecotoxicology 25:302-309.
  • Paredes et al (2014) Ecotoxicological evaluation of four UV filters using marine organisms from different trophic levels: Isochrysis galbana, Mytilus galloprovincialis, Paracentrotus lividus, and Siriella armata. Chemosphere 104:44-50.
  • Mao et al (2017) Effects of benzophenone-3 on the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and the cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa. Aquatic Toxicology 193:1-8.
  • Wolff et al (2008) Prenatal phenol and phthalate exposures and birth outcomes. Environ Health Perspec 116:1092-1097.
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  • Huo et al (2016) The relationship between prenatal exposure to BP-3 and Hirschspring’s disease. Chemosphere 144:1091-1097.
  • Wnuk et al (2017) Benzophenone-3 impairs autophagy, alters epigenetic status, and disrupts retinoid X receptor signaling in apoptotic neuronal cells. Molecular Neurobiology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12035-017-0704-2
  • Wnuk et al (2017) Apoptosis Induced by the UV Filter Benzophenone-3 in Mouse Neuronal Cells Is Mediated via Attenuation of Erα/Pparγ and Stimulation of Erβ/Gpr30 Signaling. Molecular Neurobiology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12035-017-0480-z
  • Zhang et al (2016) Chlorination of oxybenzone: Kinetics, transformation, disinfection byproducts formation, and genotoxicity changes. Chemosphere 154:521-527.
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  • Sherwood et al (2012) Altered UV absorbance and cytotoxicity of chlorinated sunscreen agencies. Cutan Ocul Toxicol 31:273-279.
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For more information about oxybenzone, visit the Haereticus Environmental Laboratory, who kindly provided this list of references.

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Silver Spiral Seas
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Credits:

Silver Spiral Seas, LLC with Angelina Kossoff, Cody Miner, Sydney Hauser, Theresa Ciraolo, & Ellie

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