HELP CONSERVE THE ECOSYSTEM - USE ONLY
BIODEGRADABLE SUNTAN LOTION AND SUNSCREENS
One of the easiest ways for you to help protect the natural
ecosystem of Mazatlan this vacation is to use only biodegradable
sunscreen and eco-friendly insect repellent. Regular
sunscreens like Coppertone, Banana Boat and the other main
brands contain harmful oils and chemicals that damage coral
reefs and marine plants and animals. Every year between 8
million and 12 million pounds of sunscreen washes off of
swimmers and goes into our water, and smothers our coral reefs,
clouds up the water, and is ingested by our local fish and
marine life. By using only biodegradable eco-friendly
sunblock and sunscreen, you can help to conserve this fragile
ecosystem for years to come.
FAQ'S ABOUT BIODEGRADABLE SUNTAN LOTION
Q: Is it allowed to use regular sunscreens in Mazatlan?
A: While only biodegradable sunscreen is permitted in
many locations in Mexico, such as Cozumel's marine park, Xcaret,
Xel-Ha, Garrafon, and Chankanaab Park, other areas of Mexico do
not yet have these regulations, though more are joining rapidly.
Although it is allowed to use your regular sunscreen in
Mazatlan, we strongly encourage you to consider using
eco-friendly sunblock and help to preserve the marine
Q: What is biodegradable sunscreen?
A: Biodegradable sunblock is environmentally
friendly sunscreen that lacks the harmful ingredients that
are destroying the world's coral reefs. These
sunscreens are biodegradable, meaning they break down
naturally in the environment, and eco-friendly, meaning that
they minimize damage to the environment. We strongly
encourage using only biodegradable sunscreen anytime you are
going to be in the water.
Q: Are there certain ingredients to
watch out for?
A: Some of the most harmful
ingredients that many sunscreens contain, including some
that are actually biodegradable such as those made by
Nature's Gate, are PABA, octinoxate, oxybenzone,
4-methylbenzylidene camphor and the preservative
butylparaben. If your sunscreen has any of these
ingredients, it is not safe for use on the reefs.
Q: What kind of damage does sunscreen
do to the marine ecosystem?
A: One of the most harmful things to the
natural underwater environment of Mexico and elsewhere is
the sunscreens, oils, and sunblocks worn by tourists.
We don't think of it, but when we swim in the water, these
oils come off and settle on the coral reefs and other marine
life, and in volume can almost act like an oil slick in the
water, creating damage to the delicate ecosystems. The
reefs are suffocated, and sunscreens are one of the biggest
causes of bleaching to our reefs, and the death of much of
the world's coral.
Q: I've never heard of this before.
Are you making this stuff up?
A: See the links below for the latest information.
Swimmer's Suncreen Killing Off Corals
The Biology of Sunscreens
Tourist Sunscreen Killing Off Coral Reefs
University of California:
Sunscreens Feminizing Fish
Indian Ocean Sea Turtles:
Sunscreen May Be Killing Corals
Q: Why does coral get bleached?
Is coral bleaching really a problem?
A: The ingredients in normal sunscreens promote
viral infection in the coral, as well as covering it with
oils and goo. As much as 25% of the world's coral reefs are in imminent
danger of collapse due to human pressures, and another 25%
is in longer term danger.
Q: Where can I buy
A: You can sometimes find these products at
your local health food store, and at select locations in
Mazatlan, though nearly all biodegradable suntan lotion is
still purchased over the internet. We've provided some
links in the left column to some of the major brands for