This is a study which does not fully reveal the extent of the problem, but which allows us to point out the danger of certain chemical compounds on corals. In a study carried out overseas and published this Monday, September 18, the Health Safety Agency (ANSES) highlights the negative effect of these chemical compounds on corals and identifies, in particular, toxic substances present in sun creams .

“The expertise shows that half of the substances evaluated can present risks for coral reefs and contribute to their degradation,” concludes ANSES, after studying 53 substances (UV filters, hydrocarbons, pesticides, metals). But she also warns that, “due to a lack of available data, this number is most likely underestimated.”

The agency recommends creating or strengthening surveillance and monitoring of chemical substances, limiting releases of dangerous substances at source (in particular with regulatory bans on marketing) and improving sanitation networks in waste.

The experts are also focusing particularly on sun creams, while the expertise has “identified three substances as toxic to corals: oxybenzone, octinoxate and octocrylene”. The State recently received a request from ANSES to restrict the use of this latter substance. France, however, wants the matter to be managed on a “European scale”, a government source indicated at the beginning of July.

In its report, ANSES hopes that the assertions of environmental protection and respect for marine environments made by certain brands of sunscreen are “justified”. “The presence of one of the substances mentioned above seems incompatible with the possibility of benefiting from such claims,” considers the Agency.