Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Hawaii bans certain sunscreens to protect coral reefs

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Cary Marshall | 06 July, 2018, 22:15

Bans the sale, offer of sale, or distribution of any sunscreen that contains oxybenzone or octinoxate, or both, without a prescription issued by a licensed healthcare provider.

"This bill is a small first step worldwide to really caring about our corals and our reefs in a way that no one else anywhere in the world has done", he said during the bill signing.

David Ige signed into law a ban on sunscreens that contain two chemicals believed to be harmful to coral reefs.

Up to 70 percent of sunscreens sold on the US market contain oxybenzone and up to 8 percent contain octinoxate, which often appears on the labels as octyl methoxycinnamate, National Public Radio reported. "By taking the lead on banning these unsafe chemicals in sunscreens, we've started a tidal wave which will help bring our coral reefs back to life", he told KHON2 News.

More news: As tariffs strike, U.S., China trade conflict escalates

Various sunscreens from the prominent brands including Banana Boat, Australian Gold and Coppertone consist of either oxybenzone or octinoxate, as indicated by a research conducted by the cosmetics ingredients database of the Environmental Working Group.

Studies show the chemicals are harmful to coral reefs.

"Healthy reefs are a fundamental part of a larger ecosystem which is important to the health of our planet", said Sen. We know the tide is against us.

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. "We've got [a] limited amount of time".

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