There are now a number of laboratory studies that associate certain UV filters in chemical-based sunscreens – specifically oxybenzone and octinoxate – with the bleaching of coral reefs. While the lab setting may have limitations, there is agreement amongst most experts that more studies are needed. Many states are now considering legislation to ban the sale and use of chemical sunscreens that contain the incriminated ingredients. What should one do in the meantime for protection from the sun? Fortunately, there are many effective mineral-based sunscreens on the market – containing zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. Also remember to seek shade, wear protective clothing, and limit sun exposure between 10am and 3pm. Additional information on sunscreens and sun protection is available at www.aad.org/
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