Hawaii to Ban Sale of Sunscreens Linked to Coral Reef Damage

Hawaii to Ban Sale of Sunscreens Linked to Coral Reef Damage

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.

In the state of Hawaii of the United States, the sale of sunscreen creams containing chemicals believed to harm coral reefs was prohibited.

State lawmakers passed the legislation in early May.

"When you think about it, our island paradise, surrounded by coral reefs, is the ideal place to set the gold standard for the world to follow", state senator Mike Gabbard, who introduced the bill, told the Honolulu Star Advertiser.

State Sen. Roz Baker, who represents south and west Maui, said the bill has enormous significance because coral is such a fundamental part of a larger ecosystem important to the health of the planet. The bill mentions that the chemicals namely, octinoxate and oxybenzone have a huge damaging impacts on the marine environment of Hawaii as well as influencing the residing ecosystem badly. 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".

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In more than 3,500 sunscreen products that are most popular in the world, these chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate are used in manufacturing them, including brands like Hawaiian Tropic, Banana Boat, and Coppertone.

There are some critics of the new law.

However, environmental advocates support the decision referring a 2015 study that found oxybenzone, which filters UV rays, was found in coral reefs in Hawaii and the Caribbean. Others are concerned that the new law will cause harm to retailers and manufacturers.

Environmental sectors have expressed warm approval to the law but business groups, trade associations, and the healthcare sectors are showing criticism and urging that the law, restricting people from applying sunscreen at Hawaii will indirectly increase the risk of sunburn or long-term issues including skin cancer. It is unclear whether the governor's office plans to address these concerns.

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