It is estimated that chemicals from personal care products are in 80% of the water in the United States. Some of the effects of this pollution include male fish being feminized and coral reef being destroyed.
Here is a list of the top chemicals to avoid:
Chemical sunscreens – The WTO estimates that 6000 tons of chemical sunscreen ends up in the coral reefs “bleaching” it of life-sustaining algae. The most common one used is oxybenzone. Look for for physical (mineral) sunscreens such as zinc and titanium. To find this information on the label, look for ‘active ingredients’ where it will list the sunscreen.
Nanoparticles – When choosing a physical sunscreen, look for ‘non-nano’ zinc and titanium. There are many concerns about nanoparticles’ effect on algae and aquatic life.
Synthetic musk – A carcinogenic ingredient that is contained in many perfumes and is toxic to aquatic life. Not good for humans either so avoid it! If you want to smell beautiful, look for natural perfumes and products scented with pure essential oils.
Triclosan – An anti-bacterial agent that is very toxic to algae and bio-accumulates in fish. Soap is all you need on your hands. For extra antibacterial properties, choose one with tea tree or lavender essential oils.