Swimmers Just Trying To Protect Their Skin May Be Destroying Coral Reefs Without Realizing It

Swimmers Just Trying To Protect Their Skin May Be Destroying Coral Reefs Without Realizing It

You slather on that sunscreen for protection, but did you know that while it may be protecting you from dangerous sun rays, it's harming something else.

It's that time of year again — summer. The time, where if you're lucky enough and you live close you flock to the beaches. You slather on that sunscreen for protection, but did you know that while it may be protecting you from dangerous sun rays, its harming something else.

The Coral Reefs.

A chemical found in sunscreen may be contributing to the destruction of coral reefs as swimmers that are just trying to protect their skin are unknowingly harming coral reefs.

New research from the journal Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, found that a chemical called oxybenzone has toxic effects on young coral that causes endocrine disruption, DNA damage, and death of coral, among other the problems.

Oxybenzone is a pale yellow solid that is soluble in most organic solvents. It absorbs at lower energies than many aromatic molecules. Oxybenzone is used in many plastics as an ultraviolet light absorber and stabilizer and can be found in many other products such as the sunscreen (that is harming the coral reefs), hairsprays and other cosmetics because it along with other benzophenones help prevent damage from sun exposure.

So what is the problem and how is it related to the coral reefs?

One of the major problems it causes is the bleaching of coral, which is when the coral expels the algae (zooxanthellae) that are living in the tissues and in turn causes the coral to turn completely white. However, the coral isn't dead. It can survive the bleaching event, it just becomes under more stress and more subject to mortality.

At the moment between 4,000 and 6,000 tons of sunscreen enter the coral reef areas around the world each year. This is a lot considering it doesn't take much to reach toxic effects. It has become a significant ecological threat.

Currently, there are no completely "reef-friendly" sunscreens, there are some with titanium oxide or zinc oxide, which are natural mineral ingredients, have not been found harmful to corals.

On the flip side, this does not mean that you should not wear sunscreen to protect yourself from many things such as skin cancer. But instead, consider what sunscreen you are using before going into the ocean.

Sunscreen isn't the only the only threat to our oceans either. More than 60% of coral reefs are at a risk of being impacted not only by the oxybenzone in the sunscreen but by other factors such as climate change, overfishing, disease, and marine pollutants.

Coral reefs play an important role in our ecosystem. They serve as local economies through tourism and fishing. They also protect the global environment by being carbon sinks and absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2

) that could otherwise contribute to global warming.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.

Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.


Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Dear America, We Can Step Forward As A Country If We Stop Believing That Only One Belief Is Valid

It's time to promote unity and emphasize our commonalities because only through unity can we step forward as a country.


Dear America,

2018 was a year of political strife and conflict. The left and the right fought constantly. Republicans and Democrats blamed each other for the tiniest mistakes, and there were only a small number of successful bipartisan deals. Politicians and citizens alike seemed more concerned with sticking to party platforms, even ones they truly didn't believe in, rather than compromising with the other side to improve our society.Yet all this name-calling and hatred — what does it do in the end? What does it accomplish?

We've only seen an increased polarization of American politics and an expanded hostility towards "the other side." We don't consider the well-being of each and every person in America and the bettering of our society, or the building of a stronger world for our children and grandchildren.

We spend so much time insulting each other's political beliefs that we forget probably the most important fact that links us all together: We are all human. We all share the same basic needs, the same struggles, the same moments of happiness and sadness.

And yet we are willing to put our similarities aside and only focus on our differences. We are willing to thrust ourselves into the deep anger and loathing that comes in attacking those different from us. We are willing to parry insults behind the safety of a phone screen and forget all about what makes us alike. And we are willing to gloss over the fact that we have more similarities than differences.

SEE ALSO: Dear Trump, Thanks For Transforming Me Into A Responsible, Educated Citizen

Yes, political beliefs make a person. Political beliefs define the values, ideas and thoughts of a person. But sometimes, we have to reach over those beliefs, as hard as that may be, and focus on the bigger picture at hand. What will insulting someone because of those beliefs do? It definitely won't change their views or make them see things from your point of view.

It's sad and frustrating that this endless fighting doesn't even occur between two countries or two governments or two nation-states. Instead, we see arguments and strife between two family members, two neighbors or even two strangers, all living in the same community and under the same government, all sharing more similarities than differences.

We need to stop focusing so much on singular ideas. We need to stop believing in the close-minded idea that only one thought is the best thought. And instead of wasting energy trying to change other's opinions, we need to use that energy and time to promote unity and emphasize our commonalities.

These past few years have truly divided America. Let's make 2019 a year of unity, because only through unity can we step forward as a country.

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