Healthy coral reefs are one of the most valuable ecosystems on Earth. They provide billions of dollars in economic and environmental services, such as food, coastal protection, and tourism. However, coral ecosystems around the world face serious threats from a number of sources, including climate change, unsustainable fishing, land-based pollution, coastal development, disease, and invasive species.
Scientists have also discovered that some of the chemicals found in sunscreen and other personal health products threaten the health of coral reefs. How these, and other compounds, affect reef ecosystems remains an active area of research. In August 2022, the National Academy of Sciences released a study which reviews the state of the science on the use of sunscreen ingredients and their environmental impacts. NOAA is reviewing the study and, upon completion of this review, will update the information presented in this article as warranted.