Hawaii bans certain types of sunscreen


Hawaii is the only U.S. State that modified the legislation in order to protect the life cycle of coral reefs.

State lawmakers passed the legislation in early May.

A bill to ban certain types of sunscreen in Hawaii has been signed into law as part of efforts to protect coral reefs. On Tuesday, 3 July, the governor David Ige has approved a bill that was blaming two ingredients found in many sunscreens, oxybenzone and octinoxate.

Only those with a medically prescribed sunscreen containing the chemicals will be allowed to obtain the product.

This law makes Hawaii the first USA state to enact legislation created to protect marine ecosystems by banning such sunscreens. The prohibition takes effect in 2021.

"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.

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Several Democrats in the state's legislature offered strong support.

"In my lifetime, our planet has lost about half its coral reefs", explained Hawaii State Rep. Chris Lee, D-Honolulu.

"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", state senator Mike Gabbard, who introduced the bill, told the Honolulu Star Advertiser.

Environmental sectors have expressed warm approval to the law but business groups, trade associations, and the healthcare sectors are showing criticism and urging that the law, restricting people from applying sunscreen at Hawaii will indirectly increase the risk of sunburn or long-term issues including skin cancer. Many organizations made public statements opposing the bans.

Alternative reef-safe sunscreens are products with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, that efficiently block the sun's rays.


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