Hawaii bans Coral-harming Sunscreens

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Sunscreen containing the two chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate will only be available to those with a prescription.

While Hawaii legislators touted the bill as a victory for coral reefs, others expressed concerns about its potential economic repercussions. In addition, this law does not include products marketed or intended for use as a cosmetic, not does it include sunscreens prescribed by licensed healthcare providers. 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.

"So, Hawaii is definitely on the cutting edge by banning these risky chemicals in sunscreens", Gabbard said in an email to the newspaper.

Leaders have to act rapidly to conserve exactly what reefs globe has actually left, he stated.

State Sen. Mike Gabbard, the Democrat who introduced the bill, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that it would be "a first-in-the-world law". "This legislation is a big step forward for the protection of our coral reefs, marine life and human health". They found four major toxic effects in developing coral, namely: increased susceptibility to bleaching, DNA damage, abnormal skeleton growth and gross deformities in baby coral.

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Environmentalists have taken the stance that without action now, the coral reefs of Hawaii will only suffer more unnecessary damage.

If the ban is passed, it would take effect in 2021.

Bayer said in a statement in May that the company intends to comply with the legislation but that "eliminating the use of sunscreen ingredients considered to be safe and effective by the FDA with a long history of use not only restricts consumer choice, but is also at odds with skin cancer prevention efforts. We've got [a] limited amount of time".

Sunscreen might be a summertime staple, but it could also be a wrecker of ever so brittle coral reefs.

Up to 70 percent of sunscreens sold on the USA 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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