As we apply our face or body with sunscreen lotion, would we have thought that the harmful chemicals can cause harm to the marine lives?
With reference to The Straits Times article dated 5 October 2018: Study warns of health risks from sunscreen chemicals. Hong Kong Scientists are finding commonly used UV filters polluting the waters, and these could endanger health.
An extensive amount of seven common UV filter chemicals was found in Hong Kong seawater as well as in fish, shrimps and, mussels on aqua-farms. Tests were carried out on zebrafish as it shares a similar genetic human structure. It was shown that these polluted water had caused abnormalities and a higher mortality rate in the fish’s embryos. In other words, the effects of the contaminants passing through the food chain to human could affect human’s fertility!
The UV filter chemicals tested were octocrylene (OC), benzophenone-3 (BP-3) and ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate (EHMC). These were the UV filters found most abundant in HK waters.
The EU’s International Chemical Secretariat has established BP-3 as a threat to human health and has called for it to be replaced with a safer ingredient. These chemicals cannot be simply dissolved or diluted by drinking water.
They have called for a safer use of chemicals in personal care products and recommend consumers to use mineral-based sunscreens such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide instead.
14 October 2018.
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