These chemical ingredients have been linked to a number of problems for both humans and marine life. In tropical locations where tourists spend a lot of time in the water, the coral reefs have sustained damage and are starting to die off or bleach. Research supports a correlation between octinoxate and oxybenzone use and reef bleaching. Without healthy reefs, many fish and other aquatic animals simply cannot survive. Further, the tourist economies of the cities, states, and countries where these reefs exist will be impacted.
In humans, octinoxate and oxybenzone have been linked to breast cancer, liver toxicity, and hormone disruption, among other serious concerns. Additionally, these chemicals have been known to pass from a mother to her unborn child, as well as contribute to skin allergies, rashes, and acne.
You don’t have to swim in the ocean to contribute to the passing of oxybenzone and octinoxate since sunscreen is washed off any time you get wet. When you take a shower or swim in a pool, the sunscreen goes down the drain, into the sewers and river systems, and ends up in the ocean.