The government of Hawaii is about to ban sunscreen since some of its compounds are extremely toxic to coral reefs. Last week, Hawaii lawmakers passed a bill that will set limits on the sale of some types of sunscreen.
The products that include octinoxate and oxybenzone have been added to the blacklist. The two chemicals, which are found in most chemical sunscreens, have been proven to harm marine life.
Even in small amounts, chemical sunscreens have prompted coral bleaching in coastal areas. In 2015, around 14,000 of tons of the products reached the world’s ocean.
The bill has recently landed on governor David Ige’s desk. Earlier this year, Gov. Ige expressed his support for the bill if it passed the legislature. Officials said that details about the new bill would be unveiled next month.
Critics Slam Hawaii Lawmakers
The Hawaii Medical Association, which has its own sunscreen line, criticized the decision. According to HMA, banning sunscreen would be a “small step” towards an effective protection of local coral reefs. The group insisted that global warming and overpopulation are much greater threats than the cosmetics.
Consumer Healthcare Products Association agreed with HMA, urging the government to better start focusing more on global warming, which is considered the greatest risk for coral reefs worldwide.
Experts, however, are confident that the new ban would ensure that coral reefs are more resilient and less stressed. Past studies have shown that oxybenzone and octinoxate can be extremely toxic to marine life.
What’s more, people in Hawaii who want to use sunscreen will not be barred from doing so. There are many other alternatives to the products that contain the two harmful chemicals. Also, people who need the products to treat their skin conditions will still be able to get them on prescription.
Image Source: Freestockphotos
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