New research has shown that Benzophenone-2, a chemical commonly used in shampoos, sunscreens and detergents, could be harming the future of the world’s coral reefs.
How Benzophenone-2 affects baby corals
The study, carried out by researchers at the Haereticus Environmental Laboratory in Virigina, looked at what happened when baby coral reefs were exposed to levels of Benzophenone-2 that are found in our seas.
The coral reefs suffered DNA damage, bleaching and increased rates of death.
The lead researcher said: “What’s worrying is if this chemical harms young coral, we won’t get coral recruitment around the world.
“This will create coral zombies – coral where there’s adults but no recruited young, so the reef will eventually go away.”
How we can help to reduce Benzophenone-2 levels
It is thought that waste water is a big part of the reason that Benzophenone-2 ends up in our seas.
When we have a bath, shower or even wash our hands using toiletries that contain Benzophenone-2, the contaminated water doesn’t just disappear – it can wash through into our seas and rivers.
By switching to natural and organic toiletries that are free from Benzophenone-2, as well as other chemicals like Triclosan, we can help to reduce our personal impact on the environment.