did you know? Hawaii was the first USA state to ban oxybenzone from its waters.

(Sunscreen: Ocean Killer) PSA

This PSA was shot, edited, and directed by me.

My name is Hoang-Kim Nguyen and OXYBEN-DONE is a part of my environmental stewardship project through ISB's ESORE program. I am a senior at Inglemoor High School (Kenmore, WA) and is based in Washington state. Aside from being a student, I am interested in environmental matters as well as taking care of your skin.
OXYBEN-DONE was created with the intention of spreading awareness of the dangers common sunscreen chemical, oxybenzone, presents not only to the environmental but to the personal health scale. Through my project, I hope more people become aware of this chemical as it is a threat to ocean coral.


Sunscreen can take on three different forms: physical, chemical, or a mix of both. Physical sunscreen utilizes particles that scatter and reflect UV (ultra-violet) light. Chemical sunscreen contains UV-absorbing molecules that filter and limit the amount of UV radiation at the skin.
Sunscreen is measured through sun protection factors, also known as SPF. For example, a person who has fair skin will benefit from a sunscreen that is of SPF 30 or higher, to decrease the risk of sun damage to the skin.
A primary reason for why sunscreen is popular is because it helps shield the skin from harmful UV rays, which can prevent serious skin conditions such as melanoma.

Tsao, Hensin. "Sunscreens." Encyclopedia of Public Health, edited by Lester Breslow, vol. 4, Macmillan Reference USA, 2002, pp. 1169-1170. Gale eBooks, link.gale.com/apps/doc/CX3404000820/GVRL?u=wash_main&sid=bookmark-GVRL&xid=8e5ffcd8. Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.


Home page | What is Sunscreen?| Dangers of Oxybenzone | What to do?

Due to summer season and more people going to the beach, it is important to know about the dangers of oxybenzone since there will be more people purchasing and using sunscreen.

Many sunscreens contain the chemical, oxybenzone, which has shown to cause allergies, hormone disruption, low birth weights, and cell damage.
In the Environment
Oxybenzone harms coral by increasing a coral’s susceptibility to bleaching, damaging coral DNA which interferes with reproduction, causing deformities and growth anomalies, and disrupting a coral’s hormonal processes for growth and reproduction.
Oxybenzone exposure to sea water can occur in very small dosages (62 parts per trillion, or one drop of water in 6.5 Olympic swimming pools).
Sunscreen can wash off our bodies and enter directly into the water while swimming, but also through spray-on sunscreens (creates a cloud that often misses the skin and settles on the sand).
Sunscreen chemicals can also enter the ocean in treated wastewater after it is washed off in the shower or excreted through urine.

Admin. “Sunscreen and Corals.” Coral Reef Alliance, 1 Sept. 2021, https://coral.org/en/blog/sunscreen-and-corals/#:~:text=Oxybenzone%20is%20bad%20news%20for,Causing%20deformities%20and%20growth%20anomalies.Nienstedt, Andrea. "Sun Protection." The Gale Encyclopedia of Public Health, edited by Laurie J. Fundukian, vol. 2, Gale, 2013, pp. 913-916. Gale eBooks, link.gale.com/apps/doc/CX2760500248/GVRL?u=wash_main&sid=bookmark-GVRL&xid=8d5c708c. Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.


#1: Read the label on the back of the sunscreen bottle. On the back of every sunscreen bottle, there are a list a active ingredients. If oxybenzone is listed as one of the ingredients, look for an alternative sunscreen to use!#2: Look for marine safe sunscreens, marked a marine safe logo.#3: Wear a shirt and a hat while swimming. A good way to protect your skin from the sun, like an extra layer of protection on top of wearing sunscreen. You can also wear a rash-guard to protect other areas of your body as well.