DIGEST [NPR, Christian Science Monitor, Washington Post, Smithsonian, EWG]

A key ingredient in many sunscreen products is contributing to the rapid decline of coral reefs around the planet, according to findings in a new study published in the Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. Scientists, including researchers from the United States and Israel, found high concentrations of oxybenzone near coral reefs in Hawaii, Israel and the Caribbean. The ingredient has been found to damage or kill the delicate reef structures. However, the chemical can be devastating even in low doses: The Christian Science Monitor reports that just a tiny amount of oxybenzone — 62 parts per trillion, or a drop of water in six Olympic-sized swimming pools — can be toxic to fragile young coral. In higher concentrations, it can also prove fatal to adult coral.

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