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Sunscreens first to be proven reef safe, freshwater safe and now bait safe, too
ORMOND BEACH, FL (June. 9, 2010): In 2009, Tropical Seas introduced the world’s first line of sunscreens scientifically proven to biodegrade in ocean water, thus preserving fragile ecosystems while protecting skin. Reef Safe™ SunCare by Beach Buff® was later tested and proven to biodegrade in freshwater as well – another first for the industry.
Now, they’ve done it again.
Subsequent tests have authenticated that Reef Safe lotions do not harm bait fish. An independent laboratory, utilizing the OECD 203 Acute Toxicity Test, found that exposure to high concentrations of the product resulted in absolutely no harm to bait fish.
Once again, Reef Safe sets a new standard for sun care by becoming the first lotion to scientifically substantiate a biodegradeable “reef safe,” “freshwater safe” and “bait safe” claim.
“The idea to test Reef Safe on bait fish came about as we got involved in sponsoring the Professional Tarpon Tournament Series,” said Tropical Seas founder and CEO Dan Knorr. “Since we were encouraging the pro anglers to use our products, we wanted to make certain doing so wouldn’t cause problems with their live baits, jigs or lures. As expected, Reef Safe passed the lab tests with flying colors.”
Truly biodegradable sunscreens address a significant environmental menace. As reported on National Geographic News, 4,000 to 6,000 metric tons of toxic sunscreens wash off swimmers into the oceans every year, leading to sunscreen-induced bleaching of up to 10 percent of the world’s coral reefs. The studies also found that Reef Safe’s waterproof formula allows less than three percent of the product to come off in the water, which compares favorably to mass market brands that lose up to 29 percent of the product immediately upon entering the water.
If every swimmer switched to Reef Safe, the amount of wash-off would be reduced to just 1.2 to 1.8 metric tons of non-biodegradable matter each year.
But people also use sunscreens in lakes, rivers, pools, and even around their lawns. Eventually, all of that water finds its way into the oceans. In fact, more than 40 percent of the continental United States drains into the Gulf of Mexico, this then trickles down to Mexico, the Florida Keys and other endangered habitats.
And, of course, anglers on oceans, lakes and rivers use sunscreens, which inevitably come into contact with their live bait, both in live wells and in bait fish netting. The toxic ingredients in most products can kill bait fish, rendering them useless for fishing. The lotions can likewise be easily transferred from anglers’ skin to the water, where Reef Safe’s biodegradability again comes into play.
In the latest round of laboratory testing, a specific quantity of product was dispensed, and the fatheaded minnows (Pimephales promelas) were observed for 96 hours, during which time the fish exhibited no signs of mortality or abnormality compared to that of the control and exposure tanks. This is the equivalent of an entire 4 oz. bottle of Reef Safe spilling into a live well – a concentration greatly exceeding what would be anticipated from casual use or accidental spills – which resulted in no adverse effects on the fish.
Reef Safe SunCare by Beach Buff sunscreens are available in resort locations across the U.S. Sunbelt, Hawaii and throughout the Caribbean islands, and online.
About Reef Safe SunCare
ReefSafe™ SunCare by Beach Buff®, manufactured and distributed by Ormond Beach, Fla. based Tropical Seas, Inc., addresses well-documented concerns about the damage done to reefs and marine life by the 4,000 to 6,000 metric tons of toxic sunscreens estimated to wash off swimmers into the oceans every year. Reef Safe sunscreens were subjected to a comprehensive series of independent laboratory tests to support and authenticate the biodegradability of the lotions. The research found that Reef Safe SunCare products biodegrade, on average, less than 90 days in seawater and freshwater. No evidence of toxicity to microorganisms and other sea life was detected. Research also found that Reef Safe’s waterproof formula allows less than three percent of the product to come off in water, which compares favorably to the estimated 25 percent of mass-market brand lotions that come off in water.
Laurie D. Fontenot