This US Virgin Islands — St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas — has lush green hillsides and beautiful beaches surrounded by colorful coral reefs. According to the Nature Conservancy, coral reefs in the Virgin Islands are essential for a healthy ocean, thriving economies and prosperous communities.

St. John non-profit Island Green Living Association and a coalition of environmental groups, community leaders, academics and businesses are leading an effort to raise awareness of the harmful impact of oxybenzone, octinoxate and octocrylene, which are commonly found in chemical sunscreens. They have filed a petition to the FDA for the removal of sunscreen products containing ‘the Toxic 3 Os’. The coalition argues that if that screen contains one of ‘the Toxic 3 Os,’ it could contribute to the failing health of Caribbean coral reefs. The petition is signed by a retired scientist and industry toxicologist, senators, and organizational leaders as reported by the St. Croix Source. It also reports that the U.S. Virgin Islands and Hawaii are especially vulnerable to the environmental impact of contaminants on coral reefs and both have laws on the books banning toxic sunscreen. Read more here.

If you are interested in learning simple ways to help save coral reefs and the fish, animals and plants that depend on them, read more here.

Infographic from National Ocean Service: Sunscreen Chemicals and Marine Life

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