Hawaii Governor Signs Ban on Reef-Damaging Sunscreens

Hawaii Governor Signs Ban on Reef-Damaging Sunscreens

beach, sun, bathing(CN) – Hawaii grew to become the primary state within the nation to ban some sunscreens containing components proven to be damaging to key marine habitats.

Governor David Ige signed SB 2471 into regulation, barring the sale and distribution of sunscreen containing oxybenzone and octinoxate, which scientists consider harm coral reefs.

“Studies have documented the negative impact of these chemicals on corals and other marine life. Our natural environment is fragile, and our own interaction with the earth can have lasting impacts. This new law is just one step toward protecting the health and resiliency of Hawaii’s coral reefs,” Ige stated when signing the invoice into regulation Tuesday.

The regulation has earned reward from environmental sectors and condemnation from enterprise teams, commerce associations and in addition some within the well being care sector – dermatologists particularly – who say the regulation might dissuade beachgoers from making use of sunscreen in any respect, rising the danger of short-term issues like sunburn and long-term points together with pores and skin most cancers.

“Today the health, safety and welfare of millions of Hawaii residents and tourists has been severely compromised by the passage of SB 2571 that will ban at least 70 percent of the sunscreens on the market today, based on weak science blaming sunscreens for damage to coral reefs,” the Consumer Healthcare Products Association stated in an announcement Tuesday. “This irresponsible action will make it more difficult for families to protect themselves against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, and it is contrary to the many concerns expressed by Hawaii’s medical doctors, dermatologists, and public health experts.”

The affiliation represents firms like Johnson & Johnson, which manufactures the Neutrogena line of sunscreen merchandise.

Dr. Ku’ulei Rodgers conducting coral bleaching survey. (Photo: Keisha Bahr)

The invoice was additionally opposed by the Hawaii Medical Association.

But environmental advocates say the measure is important after a 2015 research discovered oxybenzone, which filters UV rays, was present in excessive concentrations round coral reefs in Hawaii and the Caribbean. The research stated the chemical is liable for killing coral reefs and inflicting DNA harm within the organisms throughout their larval stage.

The research discovered about 14,000 tons of sunscreen lotion leads to and round coral reefs yearly.

The result’s a major decline in coral reefs world wide, scientists argued, with the hazards essentially the most pronounced at reefs standard with vacationers.

“The use of oxybenzone-containing products needs to be seriously deliberated in islands and areas where coral reef conservation is a critical issue,” stated researcher Craig Downs, one of many authors of the research.

In Hawaii, environmental organizations used the research as a platform to persuade lawmakers that severe and fast motion was wanted. The regulation, nevertheless, received’t take impact till Jan. 1, 2021.

“The half-life of oxybenzone is about 2 1/2 years,” stated Lisa Bishop, president of Friends of Hanauma Bay, in a tv interview. “So this is very doable. If we start, the bill will help significantly cut back on the amount of pollution in areas.”

The regulation exempts sunscreen prescribed by medical doctors and doesn’t embrace cosmetics. Proponents of the regulation say there are sunscreen alternate options that don’t comprise the 2 dangerous chemical substances, that means beachgoers can each keep secure with out incurring hurt to the reef system in Hawaii.

“In my lifetime, our planet has lost about half its coral reefs,” stated Hawaii state Rep. Chris Lee, D-Honolulu. “We’ve got to take action to make sure we can protect the other half as best we can because we know that time is against us.”


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