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Biodegradable “Reef Safe” lotions showcased at three key events
MAUI, HAWAII (January 25, 2010): As a step toward promoting increased public awareness about the harmful effects of toxic sunscreens on coral reefs and marine life, the 2010 Maui Whale Festival will feature the world’s first truly biodegradable sunscreens at three of its biggest events next month.
Beach Buff® “Reef Safe” sunscreens, developed by Ormond Beach, Fla.-based Tropical Seas, Inc., are a new line of biodegradable lotions that won’t harm reefs or oceans but still offer superior protection from harmful ultraviolet rays. Beach Buff samples will be available to attendees at the three events, along with information about the importance of choosing a reef-safe sunscreen.
“We’re extremely excited to be introducing the Beach Buff sunscreens to festival-goers this year,”said Ashley Justice, Coordinator of the Maui Whale Festival. “We strongly believe that everybody who enters the ocean should use biodegradable sunscreens in order to preserve and protect our reefs and sea life for future generations. Only Beach Buff products meet that standard.”
“Our whole goal is to raise awareness about this reef-safe sunscreen option; by using the Beach Buff product at our Run for the Whales, our Whale Day Celebration or our Golf for the Whales event, people will be able to see that it works very well and is the best alternative for those future occasions when they will be swimming, snorkeling or playing in the ocean,” says Justice.
Roughly 4,000 to 6,000 metric tons of toxic sunscreens are estimated to wash off swimmers into the oceans every year. By some estimates, this has led to sunscreen-induced bleaching of up to 10 percent of the world’s coral reefs. The Beach Buff Reef Safe sunscreens were subjected to a comprehensive series of independent laboratory tests to support and authenticate the biodegradability of the lotions. The research found that 99 percent of the material biodegraded in seawater within 60-80 days, while no evidence of toxicity to micro-organisms and other sea life was detected, making Reef Safe the first scientifically substantiated biodedegradeable suncare.
The research also found that Beach Buff’s waterproof formula allows less than three percent of the product to come off in the ocean, which compares favorably to mass market brands that lose up to 29 percent of the product immediately upon entering the water.
“As a diver myself, I’ve seen first-hand the damage we humans have caused to our precious reefs,” said Dan Knorr, CEO and president of Tropical Seas (www.tropicalseas.com). “That’s why we invested so much time, money and manpower into developing an environmentally sustainable sunscreen that we could be proud of. And what better place on Earth to showcase those products than Maui!”
Beach Buff sunscreens will be featured and available at the following outdoor events during the 2010 Maui Whale Festival –
- Run for the Whales, a popular 5K and half-marathon along the scenic coast of South Maui; February 6 on Makena Beach
- The 30th Anniversary Whale Day Celebration, the signature event of the Maui Whale Festival; February 20 at Kalama Park in Kihei; and,
- Golf for the Whales, a four-man scramble tournament benefiting the Pacific Whale Foundation; March 6 at the Makena Beach & Golf Resort.
Beach Buff sunscreens are selling briskly across the Caribbean, where many dive and snorkel operators have expressed excitement, and relief, that they finally had a sunscreen to offer their customers and employees that wouldn’t damage the reefs and oceans that sustain their economy. Some operators in Bonaire even hope to convince the government to allow no other sunscreens on the island aside from the Beach Buff line.
The American Lifeguard Association, which represents more than 10,000 active lifeguards across North America, recently granted its official endorsement to the reef safe product line. “We are extremely impressed by the Beach Buff sunscreens, both for their top-notch skin protection and for their environmental sustainability,” said B.J. Fisher, Director of Health & Safety for the ALA. “We encourage all of our lifeguards, as well as the general public, to use these sunscreens whenever they plan to swim in the oceans.”
Beach Buff “Reef Safe” sunscreens are now available in resort locations across the U.S. Sunbelt, in Hawaii, throughout the Caribbean islands, and online at www.reefsafesuncare.com. Pacific Whale Foundation distributes free applications of Beach Buff sunscreen to passengers on its snorkel ecotours and whalewatches, and also provides free sunscreen at its On-Site Coral Reef Information Station at Ulua Beach in Wailea.
“Everyone who uses this sunscreen is very pleased with it,“ says Justice. “In addition to protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, you also help protect the ocean environment.”
Reef Safe SunCare by Beach Buff sunscreens are available in resort locations across the U.S. Sunbelt, Hawaii and throughout the Caribbean islands, and online.
About Reef Safe SunCare
ReefSafe™ SunCare by Beach Buff®, manufactured and distributed by Ormond Beach, Fla. based Tropical Seas, Inc., addresses well-documented concerns about the damage done to reefs and marine life by the 4,000 to 6,000 metric tons of toxic sunscreens estimated to wash off swimmers into the oceans every year. Reef Safe sunscreens were subjected to a comprehensive series of independent laboratory tests to support and authenticate the biodegradability of the lotions. The research found that Reef Safe SunCare products biodegrade, on average, less than 90 days in seawater and freshwater. No evidence of toxicity to microorganisms and other sea life was detected. Research also found that Reef Safe’s waterproof formula allows less than three percent of the product to come off in water, which compares favorably to the estimated 25 percent of mass-market brand lotions that come off in water.
Laurie D. Fontenot