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Environment

France will list substances suspected to be harmful to coral reefs

Will France join Hawaii in the ban of some sunscreens that are suspected to be harmful to the health of coral reefs? The nation’s Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety will carry out an audit to list all chemical substances that have an impact on corals and are present in consumer products such as sunscreens, detergents or cosmetic products.

Brune Poirson, French Deputy Minister for Environment

Brune Poirson, French Deputy Minister for Environment

French Deputy Minister for Environment Brune Poirson, announced Wednesday, 1st of August, the launch of an "Ocean Mission" in order to tackle chemical and plastic pollutions. The project will include an inventory of the chemical substances that are particularly toxic for marine ecosystems and coral reefs while being present in consumer products such as cosmetics, sunscreens or detergents.

The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) will take over responsibility for identifying the substances of greatest concern and “proposing appropriate regulatory measures.”

Special responsibility

"France bears a special responsibility as far as the oceans and coral reefs are concerned. Out of our thirteen overseas territories, eleven are home to corals. We therefore want to act with method to be able to take action against certain chemicals if it turns out that they have a negative impact on marine ecosystems," said the Deputy Minister.

While they represent only 1% of the ocean’s whole surface, coral reefs contain 25% of all marine species. One square kilometre of coral reef contains more species than the entire European coastline.

V.G.

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