Ban false labeling of "reef safe" on harmful sunscreens

Ban false labeling of "reef safe" on harmful sunscreens

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Coral reefs are a vital marine ecosystem that provide a plethora of ecosystem and economic services. They are the most diverse ecosystems on the planet and thousands of marine organisms throughout the food chain rely on them, ranging from shrimp to sharks. Besides being the basis of life in our oceans, corals provide medicinal and recreational benefits. 

Unfortunately, corals are under brutal attack. Not only has climate change warmed oceans, accelerating ocean acidification, bleaching events, and the spread of coral diseases, but ingredients in sunscreens have also posed a threat to these important organisms. Ingredients often used in sunscreen can damage coral DNA, induce bleaching, and kill corals, as well as negatively affect other marine life such as algae, mussels, fish, and dolphins. 

As this has become a more popular topic in the public eye, companies have once again gotten away with deceiving consumers by using the label "Reef Safe" or "Reef Friendly"**, even when their sunscreens contain harmful ingredients to reefs. Companies, which include but are not limited to Reef Safe, Sun Bum, and Banana Boat have begun to use the "reef safe" buzz phrase to their advantage, and are continuing to harm our coral reefs. 

**Some companies have used the term "reef friendly" because they have eliminated oxybenzone from their products, which has been proven to be the most harmful sunscreen chemical to marine life. However, these sunscreens still contain other ingredients that are slightly less dangerous than oxybenzone, but dangerous to marine life nonetheless. 

Losing coral reefs would lead to a collapse of our ocean's ecosystems, and consumers should not be mislead when trying to make environmentally conscious decisions. I am requesting that the Food and Drug Administration regulates any claims of "reef safe" or "reef friendly" on sunscreens. The sunscreen ingredients oxybenzones, benzophenones, OD-PABA, 4-Methybenzylidene camphor, 3-Benzylidene camphor, nano-Titanium dioxide, nano-Zinc oxide, Octinoxate, and Octocrylene have been researched and found to harm marine life, and any sunscreen containing these ingredients should not be able to label their sunscreen "reef friendly", "reef safe", or anything similar which insinuates they are safe for marine life. Further, sunscreens containing the ingredients listed above should contain a warning label stating these ingredients are known to cause harm to marine life. 

The undersigned certifies, that, to the best knowledge and belief of the undersigned, this petition includes all information and views on which the petition relies, and that it includes representative data and information known to the petition which are unfavorable to the petition.

Source: NOAA.gov

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