Published: Sat, July 07, 2018
Sci-tech | By Brandy Patterson

Hawaii Government Prohibits Sunscreen Marketing That Endangered Coral Reefs

Hawaii Government Prohibits Sunscreen Marketing That Endangered Coral Reefs

The new law prohibits counties from restricting either chemical until the state ban becomes effective on January 2, 2021.

Companies that sell products with those chemicals will either have to stop selling them or reformulate them without the chemicals.

"This new law is just one step toward protecting the health and resiliency of Hawaii's coral reefs", David Ige, the Hawaiian Governor, said as he signed the bill bringing the proposed ban into law. The bill recognizes exceptions for people who are prescribed the sunscreens for medical needs.

Hawaii may set a trend, when it comes to potentially harmful suncreens.

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But state Rep. Chris Lee, who represents the Honolulu suburbs of Kailua and Waimanalo, said the law is a necessary step to help Hawaii pass on its reefs, ocean, tourism industry and way of life to the next generation.

Leaders have to act rapidly to conserve exactly what reefs globe has actually left, he stated. "Oxybenzone and octinoxate, found in the majority of sunscreens, are safe and effective over-the-counter (OTC) active ingredients recognized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as important aides in decreasing the risk of developing skin cancer, the most common cancer in the U.S".

While it's been demonstrated to be safe for human use, the chemicals in question can actually kill young coral outright, while also contributing to bleaching effects on mature coral.

If the ban is passed, it would take effect in 2021.

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Studies show the chemicals are harmful to coral reefs.

Come 2021, Hawaii beachgoers will have to furnish a doctor's prescription for sunscreen labels containing oxybenzone and octinoxate in order to purchase them in the state.

"Some of our products contain FDA-approved amounts of oxybenzone and octinoxate, active ingredients that are created to protect skin against the damaging effects of ultraviolet light and provide critical broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays", the company said.

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