Did you know?

Up to 14,000 tons of sun­screen en­ter the world’s reefs an­nu­al­ly.

Most of it — in­clud­ing prod­ucts by Aveeno, Banana Boat, Coppertone, Hawaiian Tropic and Neutrogena — con­tains a chem­i­cal called oxy­ben­zone to de­flect UV rays.

Even in minute dos­es, oxy­ben­zone rapid­ly bleach­es coral and slows new growth: A sin­gle drop in 4.3 mil­lion gal­lons of wa­ter — about six and a half Olympic-size swim­ming pools — is enough to be dead­ly. In a 2008 study re­searchers ap­plied the rec­om­mend­ed amount of sun­screen to vol­un­teers’ hands, then im­mersed them in­to plas­tic bags con­tain­ing wa­ter and coral sam­ples from the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, as well as the Red Sea; the sam­ples were com­plete­ly bleached with­in 96 hours.

Please choose your sun­screen care­ful­ly…