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Hooray!!! Its officially summer!

Hooray!!! Its officially summer! It’s time to get out to the parks and beaches, and bask in the rays! Chances are that you’re bringing some sunscreen with you, but you may have not thought about how common sunscreen lotions affect reef life.

Many suntan lotions contain oxybenzone and octinozate. Recently, the Pacific nation of Palau, the state of Hawaii, and Key West in Florida have started putting bans in place for sunscreen containing these ingredients, because they are known to kill coral by damaging their DNA. Putting your hands in the aquarium with lotions containing these chemicals can also hurt the corals at home! Using mineral based lotions that have zinc or titanium oxide are your best bet for reefs at home and abroad. If you do use a lotion containing oxybenzone or octinazate, be sure that it’s fully washed off before putting your hands in the tank. It’s also just good practice to make sure that you do not contaminate your tank water with any lotion or chemical that might be on your skin.

Most importantly though, be sure to enjoy the season!!!

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