Monday, July 27, 2009
Medical Reports: Safer Sunscreen
If you dive or snorkel you probably lather on sunscreen before hopping in the water, but that protection could be harming, even killing, our coral reefs. 7's Richard Lemus shows how one diver has developed safer sunscreen for our reefs.
WSVN -- Every year thousands of people dive in to experience this beautiful underwater world up close and personal.
Jeff Torode, South Florida Diving Headquarters: "It's the third largest barrier reef in the world."
For the last 11 years Jeff Torode of South Florida Diving Headquarters has taken eager snorkelers and divers out to our coral reefs from Ft. Lauderdale to Palm Beach.
Jeff to snorkelers: "All trash stays inside the boat. We want to keep the reef clean, it's very important."
Jeff knows first hand the importance of our reefs and is working hard to protect them.
Jeff Torode: "Without the reef out here protecting them, we'll lose our beaches and we'll lose our way of life."
In recent years experts have become concerned about the effect sunscreen is having on the delicate coral. Some researchers worry toxic chemicals in many sunblocks are bleaching and killing it.
Jeff Torode: "If it causes problems to the reef or causes reef degrades on top of all the other things going on, that's big."
So big it caught the attention of avid diver Dan Knorr. He's seen up close the damage to Florida coral, and since he owns a company that manufactures sunscreen, he decided to develop a sunscreen called Beach Buff that's reef safe.
Dan Knorr, CEO, Tropical Seas: "We formulated the products to where it gives great skin protection against the sun and also protects the reefs."
The sunscreen is made up of natural, non-toxic materials and isn't supposed to wash off in the water and if it does, independent tests show it dissolves without hurting nature.
Dan Knorr: "Whatever goes off their skin into the water will biodegrade in less than 90 days."
It's something that excites Jeff, he's onboard with anything that can help save the reefs.
Jeff Torode: "If there is a product out there that is biodegradable and it's reef safe, we need to use it."
Use it so we don't lose all this beauty in years to come.
Some marine reserves in Mexico have already banned the use of sunscreen.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
386-677-6161 or 800-368-SEAS (7329)
South Florida Diving Headquarters
2621 North Riverside Drive
Pompano Beach , Fl 33062