Thailand bans Coral-Damaging Sunscreens

Thailand has banned sunscreens comprising of chemicals that damage coral from all of its marine national parks.

Key Points

  • Sun protection used by tourists are harming slow-growing corals in the Island nation.
  • According to Thai Department of Conservation, four ingredients found in sun creams were destroying coral larvae, obstruct coral reproduction and cause reef bleaching.
  • A fine of 100,000 baht will be put on people violating the rule.
  • Banned lotions comprises of oxybenzone, octinoxate, 4-methylbenzylidene camphor or butylparaben.
  • Similar bans have been put by Pacific Island of Palau and the US state of Hawaii.

Coral Reef

It is an underwater ecosystem, characterized by reef-building corals. Reefs are formed by colonies of coral polyps that are held together by calcium carbonate. Most of the reefs are built from stony corals. Coral belongs to the Anthozoa class in animal phylum Cnidaria. It comprises of sea anemones and jellyfish. Corals secrete hard carbonate exoskeletons. Such exoskeletons support and protect coral. Reefs are mostly grown in warm, shallow, clear, sunny and agitated water. First ever coral reefs were appeared some 485 million years ago. Corals are also called as rainforests of the sea. Corals comprises of less than 0.1% of world’s ocean area. They are commonly found at shallow depths in tropical waters. In deep water and cold water, coral reefs exist on smaller scales. Great Barrier reefs of Australia is the largest reef of World.

Location of coral reefs

Coral reefs cover an area of 284,300 km2 under 0.1% of oceans’ surface area. Indo-Pacific region including Red Sea, Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia and Pacific makes 91.9% of 0.1% area.

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