Hawaii Banning Sunscreen Harmful to Coral Reefs

  • Hawaii Banning Sunscreen Harmful to Coral Reefs

Hawaii Banning Sunscreen Harmful to Coral Reefs

As Australia announced a $500 million rescue package for the Great Barrier Reef, Hawaii's politicians passed a measure that would ban the sale of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate by 2021.

"It's wonderful, but this is the first in the world of law, said Senator Mike Ms. Gabbard (Mike Gabbard), who introduced the bill".

CNN reported that some 14,000 tons of sunscreen find its way to the world's reefs each year, according to a 2015 paper published in the journal Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology.

Senator Mike Gabbard introduced the bill.

Hawaii's legislation prohibits the sale and distribution of any sunscreen that contains the two chemicals - oxybenzone and octinoxate - without a prescription from a licensed physician.

"When you think about it, our island paradise, surrounded by coral reefs, is the ideal place to set the gold standard for the world to follow".

Craig Downs, author co-author of this study, told The Washington Post "We have lost at least 80 percent of the coral reefs in the Caribbean ..."

He said the Hawaii bill is "the first real chance that local reefs have to recover". She said there are still not enough independent studies on the issue to know whether the chemicals cause harm to coral. Yamaki said the ban might discourage people from buying sunscreen products from local brick-and-mortar stores.

Critics of the bill have argued that it's just a "feel-good measure", pointing out that other factors pose equally significant threats to coral, such as global warming and coastal development. Two major ingredients in sunscreen brands like Coppertone and the ironically-named Hawaiian Tropic "cause mortality in developing coral; increase coral bleaching that indicates extreme stress", and further "cause genetic damage to coral and other marine organisms". The American Chemistry Council also opposed the bill, citing concerns over the dangers of sun exposure.

Reef-friendly sunscreens are already available. If that happens, the ban will go into effect in about three years (starting in 2021), and Hawaii will begin leading the charge to protect our earth from the damaging effects of common sunscreen chemicals.

And that's What's Trending Today. Kelly Jean Kelly was the editor.