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Hawaii Will Soon Ban these Chemicals Found in Sunscreen that are Toxic to Coral Reefs

Before you begin packing for that once in a lifetime trip to Hawaii, you will of course want to ensure you have packed sunscreen to protect yourself and your family from harmful UV rays. And pretty soon you will want to double-check the ingredients in the sunscreen you’re bringing with you, as the state of Hawaii is set to ban toxic chemicals found in sunscreen that are harmful to their coral reefs.

The chemicals, oxybenzone and octinoxate, set to be banned by Hawaii have been found to be harmful to not only coral reefs, but also marine life according to recent scientific studies. A study from 2015 by the Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology found that “about 14,000 tons of sunscreen lotion ends up in coral reefs throughout the world every single year.” That’s the equivalent of almost 100 adult blue whales. The toxins harm reefs by leaching nutrients from the coral, which ultimately “breaks it down and impacts the development of fish and marine life.”

On May 1st the Hawaii state legislature passed a bill banning the sale of sunscreen containing these ingredients, and the bill now only awaits the signature of Hawaii governor David Ige. If the bill were to be signed into law, the ban would go into effect in January of 2021. What you won’t read in this article is the recommendation that you stop using sunscreen. It is still extremely important to be mindful of the sun’s harmful UV rays, and the dangers they pose. You'll want to pay special attention going forward though to ensure the lotion your family uses isn’t harming our precious reefs and marine wildlife.

To read the complete article on the potential sunscreen ban, click here: