Thailand Bans Coral-Damaging Sunscreens

The Thai government has banned sunscreens containing chemicals that damage coral reefs from its marine national parks on Wednesday.

The Thai Department of Conservation released a document banning the use of sunscreen containing four ingredients shown to “deteriorate coral reefs, destroy coral larvae, obstruct their reproductive system and cause coral reef bleaching”.

The four ingredients included oxybenzone, octinoxate, 4-methylbenzylidene camphor, and butylparaben.

Officials would penalize any violators with a fine of up to 100,000 baht if caught but they have not specified how they plan to enforce the new rule.

The order is the latest attempt by the Thai government to protect its coral from the tourism industry.

Thai beaches are a popular destination site usually visited by millions of tourists.

The sunscreens commonly used by these tourists have posed a serious threat to the survival of the fragile, very slow-growing corals.

Thailand followed similar bans introduced by the Pacific island of Palau and the US state of Hawaii.

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