Researchers: Common Sunscreen Ingredient Toxic to Coral

Florida Daily Life
File--AP

A common ingredient found in sunscreen is toxic to coral and contributing to the decline of reefs around the world, according to new research published on Tuesday, NBC News reported.

Oxybenzone, a UV-filtering chemical compound found in 3,500 brands of sunscreen worldwide, can be fatal to baby coral and damaging to adults in high concentrations, according the study published in the Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology.

The international research team that conducted the study, led by Craig Downs, found the highest concentrations of oxybenzone around coral reefs popular with tourists, particularly those in Hawaii and the Caribbean.

Downs, of the non-profit scientific organization Haereticus Environmental Laboratory in Virginia, said the study helped explain why scientists aren't seeing baby corals in many established reefs in resort areas.

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