When we think about things that aren’t sustainable, most of us think in terms of what’s good or bad for the environment. And generally, what comes to our minds are manufactured chemicals, or large quantities of materials that are toxic, or substances that aren’t “natural”, or even catastrophic events of nature like volcanos and forest fires.
But recently an example of a very small quantity of a product we’ve all used most of our lives to protect us from the sun has been deemed to be upsetting to the environment and is no longer considered to be sustainable for aquatic life. For as it turns out, even the small quantity of suntan lotion that we use outdoors can be dangerous to the coral reefs in Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Island and Israel.
In May, Hawaii became the first state in the U.S. to pass a law prohibiting the sale of over-the-counter sunscreens containing the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate that scientists have found contribute to coral bleaching when washed off in the ocean. The new Hawaiian rules will go into effect January 1, 2021.
So it isn’t always large quantities of certain chemicals that cause environmental problems. Of course, we at GreenEarth are committed to using a medium that is scientifically proven to be environmentally non-toxic. And while the GreenEarth silicone dry cleaning fluid is the same silicone that is used as a major ingredient in sun tan lotions, we think it’s important to note that the ban on these lotions is not because of our silicone chemical but rather the small amount of two of the other chemicals used in the product. And so, small amounts of certain chemicals can be much more dangerous than large amounts of other chemicals! Each has to be evaluated scientifically based upon the impact they cause.
By: Ron Benjamin
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