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Hawaii Bans Sunscreens Containing Coral Harming Chemicals

08 July 2018

Governor Igne pointed out that this is a small step taken for the protection of coral reefs and emphasized that we must also fight against the impacts of pollution and climate change.

Governor David Ige is expected to sign a bill this week that will make Hawaii the first state to ban sunscreens containing harmful chemicals in an effort to protect marine life. Others will have to buy sunscreens without these chemicals or bring their own sunscreen with them to Hawaii.

The new bill, passed by Hawaii lawmakers in May, bans certain types of sunscreens that are believed to contribute to the destruction of coral reefs.

Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, ABC Stores, the Hawaii Medical Association and Personal Care Products Council, as well as the manufacturer of Copperton sunscreens, Bayer, were all against the signing of this law.

It's hard to avoid these chemicals when purchasing sunscreen, as up to 70 percent of sunscreens now on the US market include oxybenzone or octinoxate.

"We are blessed in Hawaii to be home of some of the most attractive natural resources on the planet, but our natural environment is fragile, and our own interaction with the Earth can have everlasting impacts", I said. "This new law is just one step toward protecting the health and resiliency of Hawaii's coral reefs", Ige said during the bill signing.

"In my lifetime, our planet has lost about half its coral reefs", Lee said. Lee said. "We've got to take action to make sure we can protect the other half as best we can because we know that time is against us". Oxybenzone and octinoxate are used in more than 3, 500 of the world's most popular sunscreen products, including Hawaiian Tropic and Banana Boat.

Many organizations have reservations about the ban, saying that it could lead to people not using sunscreen at all. Physical sunblock will still be available to residents and tourists looking to protect their skin, which contain minerals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to physically block UVA and UVB rays from damaging skin.

Hawaii Bans Sunscreens Containing Coral Harming Chemicals