Palau to Ban Sunscreen in Fight to Save Coral Reefs
Palau to Ban Sunscreen in Fight to Save Coral Reefs
Palau to become first country to ban toxic sunscreen to protect reefs
03 November, 2018, 15:13
According to another report by the, these two chemicals alone are used in over 3,500 popular sunscreen products worldwide.
The island nation in the western Pacific wants to protect its coral reefs from toxic sunscreen runoff.
Reportedly, the nation's coral reef diving sites typically draw in around four boats full of tourists every hour on any given day.
"We're just looking at what we can do to prevent pollution getting into the environment".
Your opinion is valuable. In Palau, any store selling one of the banned sunscreens after January 1 will be fined $1,000.
"The power to confiscate sunscreens should be enough to deter their non-commercial use, and these provisions walk a smart balance between educating tourists and scaring them away", Remengesau told parliament after the bill passed last week.
It's a whole country ban similar to that imposed by Hawaii, which became the first USA state to ban sunscreens deemed harmful to reefs in May. It targets "reef-toxic" sunscreens, which are those that contain one of 10 harmful chemicals, including oxybenzone.
Palau has always been a pioneer in marine protection, introducing the world's first shark sanctuary in 2009, in a move that has been widely imitated.
It has also banned commercial fishing from its waters and previous year introduced the "Palau Pledge" requiring global visitors to sign a promise stamped into their passport that they will respect the environment. "Haereticus Environmental Laboratory says that oxybenzone is harmful to all mammals".
"It's the first country to ban these chemicals from tourism". A government spokesman stressed on Thursday in the capital city of Koror on scientific evidence that chemicals from the sun to the sensitive corals to die off would protection products in small quantities. This eventually causes gallons of toxic chemical-based sunscreens to be dumped into the ocean, near the diving and snorkeling sites, which may cause the reef to reach a unsafe tipping point.
The Palau Government's spokesperson Olkeriil Kazuo told the ABC's Pacific Beat program that officials hope the restriction will stop gallons of sunscreen being absorbed into the ocean.
"With the rise in skin cancer rates and the availability of more effective sunscreen actives such as micronized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide", a 2017 study with similar findings notes, "serious doubts about the relative prevention benefit of personal care products containing oxybenzone must be raised".
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