Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 20-08-2014, 07:37   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Katy, TX
Boat: Westsail 32'
Posts: 80
Reef-safe sunscreen?

I'm going to be spending a week in St. Thomas at the beginning of September. Can anyone make any recommendations for a good reef-safe sunscreen? Any brands in particular?

Thanks!
__________________

__________________
rb1685 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-08-2014, 08:51   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 225
Re: Reef-safe sunscreen?

Thank you for caring! I love snorkeling and diving; the less clothing, the better.

Unfortunately, I find that water proof sunscreens aren't waterproof and therefore are not sunscreens! For diving, I don't worry; I never got burned diving. For snorkeling, I have resigned myself to strategic timing. Go early or late, avoid the middle of the day. If I go in the middle of the day, I wear a rash guard on my upper body, lycra tights on my lower body, and a Buff on my noggin. Ways to Wear

The whole kit takes about 15 seconds to put on, which is a lot quicker than applying sunscreen.
__________________

__________________
jwing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-08-2014, 10:26   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Katy, TX
Boat: Westsail 32'
Posts: 80
Re: Reef-safe sunscreen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwing View Post
Thank you for caring! I love snorkeling and diving; the less clothing, the better.

Unfortunately, I find that water proof sunscreens aren't waterproof and therefore are not sunscreens! For diving, I don't worry; I never got burned diving. For snorkeling, I have resigned myself to strategic timing. Go early or late, avoid the middle of the day. If I go in the middle of the day, I wear a rash guard on my upper body, lycra tights on my lower body, and a Buff on my noggin. Ways to Wear

The whole kit takes about 15 seconds to put on, which is a lot quicker than applying sunscreen.
Yes I intend to do a bunch of snorkeling and diving whilst I'm down there. I do a lot of fishing here in Texas, and I've considered getting a Buff. It seems that sunscreen is more of a hassle than anything. If I need it during the day, why not just cover up with some clothes? I'm already at risk for skin cancer, so I don't need a tan anymore.
__________________
rb1685 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-08-2014, 22:08   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
bstreep's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: San Antonio, TX/Port Aransas, TX
Boat: 1990 Macintosh 47, "Merlin"
Posts: 2,274
Re: Reef-safe sunscreen?

I'm a molecular biologist (PhD dropout from Rice University). I'm also a life-long reefer (the coral kind, not the dope kind) - I've had large reef tanks packed with corals that I've grown from tiny little pieces (called frags).

There's no way the amount of sunscreen you use will have ANY effect on the reefs. MAYBE with a large group from a cruise ship. But not a few individuals on a reef.

It's called dilution. Let's do the math. Say you use an ENTIRE ounce of sunscreen on your body (really?). It's 1/3 "active ingredients" and we'll include them all, but only 1 or 2 are actually problematic. Reefs are constantly washed with fresh seawater. But let's ignore that. A 100 x 100 x 10 foot section of reef contains 12,000,000 gallons of water. Your dump of 1 ounce of sunscreen into that yields 1/4 of one part per BILLION. Generally, reef-toxic chemicals are measured in parts per MILLION. For instance, ammonia - EXTREMELY toxic - appears in up to .7ppm in natural seawater! That's 2800 times as much as your sunscreen.

And the current in a reef is almost always huge - water turnover is insane.

ALWAYS remember, it only takes one idiot scientist to post one supposed "scientific" article to get the entire world going crazy. Everyone repeats it, believing it to be true. Science runs on money, and on recognition. The internet is a GREAT tool for that. Use some common sense...

I can tell you that "reefers" do worry about what's on their hands when working on a tank - we try and keep our hands clean. But my 215 gallon tank, it would be equal to about 1/50,000th of a grain of salt sized toxin in my tank. Not gonna be toxic in any way.
__________________
Bill Streep
San Antonio/Port Aransas, TX
bstreep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-08-2014, 22:24   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,915
Re: Reef-safe sunscreen?

Yeah, I've always assumed these "reef safe" sunscreens were marketing rubbish.
__________________
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2014, 04:27   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Katy, TX
Boat: Westsail 32'
Posts: 80
Re: Reef-safe sunscreen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bstreep View Post
I'm a molecular biologist (PhD dropout from Rice University). I'm also a life-long reefer (the coral kind, not the dope kind) - I've had large reef tanks packed with corals that I've grown from tiny little pieces (called frags).

There's no way the amount of sunscreen you use will have ANY effect on the reefs. MAYBE with a large group from a cruise ship. But not a few individuals on a reef.

It's called dilution. Let's do the math. Say you use an ENTIRE ounce of sunscreen on your body (really?). It's 1/3 "active ingredients" and we'll include them all, but only 1 or 2 are actually problematic. Reefs are constantly washed with fresh seawater. But let's ignore that. A 100 x 100 x 10 foot section of reef contains 12,000,000 gallons of water. Your dump of 1 ounce of sunscreen into that yields 1/4 of one part per BILLION. Generally, reef-toxic chemicals are measured in parts per MILLION. For instance, ammonia - EXTREMELY toxic - appears in up to .7ppm in natural seawater! That's 2800 times as much as your sunscreen.

And the current in a reef is almost always huge - water turnover is insane.

ALWAYS remember, it only takes one idiot scientist to post one supposed "scientific" article to get the entire world going crazy. Everyone repeats it, believing it to be true. Science runs on money, and on recognition. The internet is a GREAT tool for that. Use some common sense...

I can tell you that "reefers" do worry about what's on their hands when working on a tank - we try and keep our hands clean. But my 215 gallon tank, it would be equal to about 1/50,000th of a grain of salt sized toxin in my tank. Not gonna be toxic in any way.

Very good points. I too am a reefer. I have a little 14 gallon tank that is approaching four years old. Though I'm extremely cautious when putting my hands in the tank, there is no way to avoid every possible toxin that could enter on the hands.

I suppose my logic was based on a "everyone does their part" approach. Besides, after reading all the mixed reviews for sunscreens on Amazon, there doesn't appear to be a good solution anyway.


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
rb1685 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2014, 11:21   #7
Registered User
 
gamayun's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Oakland, CA
Boat: Freedom 38
Posts: 1,230
Re: Reef-safe sunscreen?

This came across my news feed today: Sunblock poses potential hazard to sea life -- ScienceDaily

Personally, when snorkeling I use a light dive skin (rash guard) that covers me from neck to ankles. Can stay in the water for hours and not get burned, while sunscreen would wash off in that time. It's good for warm water, too. For diving, no problem. I always wear a wetsuit, but if you get too hot even in a 3mm, a skin is great for that, as well. For laying on the beach, I can't help you there. I don't have the patience to do that anymore, and sunscreen is probably necessary though you can never go wrong in a good floppy hat and lightweight clothes. I grew up in Florida before sunscreen and have had basal cell carcinomas removed about every year since I turned 37. Vitamin D is good for you on bare skin just make sure it stays in small doses...
__________________
gamayun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2014, 22:05   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
bstreep's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: San Antonio, TX/Port Aransas, TX
Boat: 1990 Macintosh 47, "Merlin"
Posts: 2,274
Re: Reef-safe sunscreen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamayun View Post
Ok, that is HILARIOUS. Seriously, go visit some reef sites. Reef Central Online Community. Then search for "hydrogen peroxide dosing". Really, I am drop-dead-serious. Reefers dose with H2O2 ON PURPOSE. I did for quite a bit of time. My poor wife was buying GALLONS of peroxide at the drug store for me. I can't believe these so-called "scientists" didn't do some research first.

I'm STILL laughing.
__________________
Bill Streep
San Antonio/Port Aransas, TX
bstreep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-08-2014, 08:45   #9
Registered User
 
gamayun's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Oakland, CA
Boat: Freedom 38
Posts: 1,230
Re: Reef-safe sunscreen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bstreep View Post
Ok, that is HILARIOUS. Seriously, go visit some reef sites. Reef Central Online Community. Then search for "hydrogen peroxide dosing". Really, I am drop-dead-serious. Reefers dose with H2O2 ON PURPOSE. I did for quite a bit of time. My poor wife was buying GALLONS of peroxide at the drug store for me. I can't believe these so-called "scientists" didn't do some research first.

I'm STILL laughing.
Are you saying there's no difference between the control of algae in a fish tank and algae on a natural reef?

I wasn't actually much convinced by that study, especially given all the other pollutants causing significant damage to corals such as your tropicals often being collected by cyanide, but you're talking about H2O2 dosing in an artificial system.

Also, most everyone has long gotten past "the solution to pollution is dilution" mantra that had been spewed for so long.
__________________
gamayun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-08-2014, 10:22   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
bstreep's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: San Antonio, TX/Port Aransas, TX
Boat: 1990 Macintosh 47, "Merlin"
Posts: 2,274
Re: Reef-safe sunscreen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamayun View Post
Are you saying there's no difference between the control of algae in a fish tank and algae on a natural reef?

I wasn't actually much convinced by that study, especially given all the other pollutants causing significant damage to corals such as your tropicals often being collected by cyanide, but you're talking about H2O2 dosing in an artificial system.

Also, most everyone has long gotten past "the solution to pollution is dilution" mantra that had been spewed for so long.
No, what I'm saying is that peroxide, in any concentration that would evolve from sunscreen, is harmless to corals. When dosing it out of the bottle, we DO have to be careful that fish don't swim right in it before it's diluted.

As for the "solution" thing - who the hell said that? I didn't - you just took my use of "dilution" out of context. I just said that BECAUSE of dilution, the concentration is so low it won't have any effect.
__________________
Bill Streep
San Antonio/Port Aransas, TX
bstreep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-08-2014, 11:01   #11
Writing Full-Time Since 2014
 
thinwater's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
Boat: PDQ Altair, 32/34
Posts: 4,328
Re: Reef-safe sunscreen?

Oh no, someone waved the bloody shirt and only war will do now.

But as for real sun protection while snorkeling and diving, rash guards work, lotion does not after a few minutes. It's that simple, wear a shirt. Even on the boat, I lotion like crazy, high SPF every few hours, and I still tan... but not under the shirt. Obvious.
__________________

__________________
Gear Testing--Engineering--Sailing

Writing full-time since 2014.
Bookstore:http://sail-delmarva.blogspot.com/20...ook-store.html
thinwater is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
screen

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sunscreen Pill Available within Five Years ? avb3 Our Community 2 31-08-2011 16:30
Sunscreen sailorboy1 Health, Safety & Related Gear 19 27-08-2009 15:19
Safe Reef Anchoring Setia Pacific & South China Sea 11 23-02-2007 08:41
Wanted - Great Barrier Reef and Pacific Islands Cruise graeme_caesar Crew Archives 0 21-09-2004 05:08



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 19:55.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.