Hawaii governor signs first-ever bill banning sunscreens that harm coral reefs

James Marshall
July 6, 2018

Gov. David Ige signed SB 2571, Act 104-prohibiting the sale, offer of sale, and distribution of sunscreens that contain the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate in Hawai'i, beginning January 1, 2021.

Edgewell Personal Care, which makes Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen lotions, said it now makes products free of the two chemicals and "will continue to ensure we comply with all relevant regulations concerning oxybenzone and octinoxate".

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. Others will certainly need to get sun screen lotions without these chemicals or bring their very own sun block with them to Hawaii.

Hawaii Governor, David Ige, signed a bill that will ban the sale of sunscreens containing chemicals harmful to coral reefs. Both are widely used in sunscreen, with oxybenzone present in the blood of 96 percent of Americans, according to the Environmental Working Group. Although not all parties are pleased with the move, Ige felt it was one way to help protect the coral reefs of his home state which are known around the world for their natural beauty.

Studies show the chemicals are harmful to coral reefs. Lim and other critics say people would be discouraged from wearing sunscreen altogether and skin cancer cases would increase. We know the tide is against us.

State Sen. Mike Gabbard proposed the bill for the first time in May, which is expected to be effective by 2021.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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