Following extensive research into the harmful effects of some sunscreen chemicals on coral reefs, Hawaii will become the first state to place a ban on those specific chemicals when the state's governor, David Ige, signs the proposal this week.
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". Scientific studies have shows that oxybenzone and octinoxate are toxic to corals and other marine life.
Sunscreen might be a summertime staple, but it could also be a wrecker of ever so brittle coral reefs.
Hawaii lawmakers passed legislation earlier this year banning the sale and distribution of sunscreens made with oxybenzone and octinoxate. Gov. David Ige on Tuesday signed legislation which makes Hawaii the first US state to enact a ban on oxybenzone and octinoxate. Both are widely used in sunscreen, with oxybenzone present in the blood of 96 percent of Americans, according to the Environmental Working Group.
State Senator Roz Baker, who represents south and west Maui, said the bill has enormous significance because corals is such a fundamental part of a larger ecosystem important to the health of the planet. Lim and other critics say people would be discouraged from wearing sunscreen altogether and skin cancer cases would increase.
The objective of this law is to preserve marine ecosystems, including coral reefs. We know the tide is against us. "We've got [a] limited amount of time". Coral reefs the world over are already having a rough go of things thanks to warming ocean temperatures and mankind's inability to clean up after itself.