Published: Fri, July 06, 2018
Science | By

Hawaii to ban popular sunscreen brands to protect coral reefs

Hawaii to ban popular sunscreen brands to protect coral reefs

Hawaii will become the first state to restrict the sale and distribution of sunscreen containing chemicals that can damage the coral reefs after Governor David Ige signs legislation later this week.

The bill states that the chemicals "have significant harmful impacts on Hawaii's marine environment and residing ecosystems".

David Ige signed the legislation on Tuesday, making Hawaii the first state in the U.S. to ban the sale, distribution and use of sunscreens that contain the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate. It is particularly targeted at the sunscreens that consists the chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoxate.

The law's ban will go into effect January 1, 2021.


The bill to ban them passed in May and Hawaii's governor is expected to sign it later this week.

"We are blessed in Hawaii to be home of some of the most lovely natural resources on the planet, but our natural environment is fragile, and our own interaction with the earth can have everlasting impacts", Ige said. According to Mother Jones, State Rep. Chris Lee said the measure was necessary to protect the state's remaining corals. He said the state would need to continue other efforts to protect coral, including fighting invasive species, pollution from land runoff and climate change. We know the tide is against us.

The goal of this law is to preserve marine ecosystems, including 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.

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