New research says mineral sunscreens may be adding to the ocean's toxic load.
If you've been reading Ecoholic, you may at this precise moment be exclaiming "What? I thought mineral sunscreens were the good ones!"
Well, a recent study out of Spain published in Environmental Science & Technology found that nano-sized versions of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide under the sun's rays produce "significant" amounts of hydrogen peroxide, which is stressing out marine phytoplankton.
According to the study, titanium dioxide nano-particles are "the major oxidizing agent entering coastal waters." Not good considering most mainstream brands are now including nano-sized titanium dioxide in their sunscreens to help meet new UV protection standards.
Piled on top of that is previous research that's found several chemicals in sunscreens to be coral reef killers, including super-common oxybenzone and octinoxate (aka ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate), also found in some "natural" brands and a lot of conventional makeup offering UV protection.
Many health store mineral sunscreens now say they're nano-free. More and more (like Green Beaver and Badger) stick to nano-free zinc and skip the titanium dioxide.
Veal crates on their way out
Order veal at a restaurant and you're likely to get an arched brow from dining companions and pointed questions like "Do you know what they do to those poor baby cows?"
That's about to shift in this province now that the Ontario Veal Association has publicly announced plans to phase out veal crates by 2018.
The Quebec Veal Association recently announced a similar ban, after undercover footage by Mercy for Animals Canada (MFA) revealed serious animal rights abuses at a Quebec veal farm. Retailers like Costco, Loblaws, Sobeys and Metro have also agreed to a ban.
MFA says once the ban takes effect, 97 per cent of the veal raised in Canada will be crate-free.
The group has started a Change.org petition asking the Retail Council of Canada to support a national ban and hold producers and retailers to their commitments.