Connect with us

Environment

Hawaii Bans Sunscreens that Hurt Coral Reefs

Protecting the environment starts with undoing humankind’s mess.

Published

on

In an effort to protect the state’s beautiful coral reefs, Hawaii just became the first state to ban certain sunscreens that are deemed harmful to the reefs.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed a bill on Tuesday banning the sale of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate, chemicals which are believed to harm coral reefs and other marine ecosystems.

State lawmakers passed the legislation in early May. Senate Bill 2571 prohibits the distribution of nonprescribed sunscreens that contain the two chemicals.

“This bill is a small first step worldwide to really caring about our corals and our reefs in a way that no one else anywhere in the world has done,” Gov. Ige said during the bill signing.

The ban takes effect on January 1, 2021, and it will not impact medically prescribed sunscreens or makeup that contain oxybenzone or octinoxate.

“We are blessed in Hawaii to be home of some of the most beautiful natural resources on the planet, but our natural environment is fragile, and our own interaction with the Earth can have everlasting impacts,” Ige said.

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

Rep. Chris Lee emphasized the importance of such environmental measures in a statement on Tuesday.

“In my lifetime, our planet has lost about half its coral reefs,” Rep. Lee said. “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.”

Opposition towards the ban mainly came from sunscreen manufacturers and medical groups. Oxybenzone and octinoxate are used in more than 3, 500 of the world’s most popular sunscreen products, including Hawaiian Tropic and Banana Boat. Many organizations made public statements opposing the bans.

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) released a statement in response to the Hawaii sunscreen ban in May stating that it would severely compromise the safety of Hawaii residents and tourists by banning at least 70 percent of the sunscreens that are on the market today. However, mineral sunscreens that use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to physically block the sun’s rays are still allowed.

Are you looking for digital journalism training and experience? Are you a journalism major who wants to take your career to the next level? CMN’s Digital Journalism course gives you real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to journalism influencers and mentors, and a great place to display your work. You can get academic credit too. Check out the Digital Journalism Course here.

Arianna is College Media Network's Weekend Editor and a student at Penn State University. She has written for various websites, including Thought Catalog and The Odyssey Online. Arianna also runs her own blog called Yoga With Mimosas in which she combines her passion for fitness and writing in hopes of inspiring and empowering others through her work.

Sign up for the Morning Scoop

and wake up with us each day.

CMN Reports

Government1 week ago

New Year, New Laws for 2019

New year means new laws.

by , The Catholic American University
Equality2 weeks ago

Nancy Pelosi Elected Speaker of the House

Democrats continued to control the House on Thursday by electing Nancy Pelosi who returned to be the first woman to...

by , Mercy College
Government2 weeks ago

The House to Approve Legislation of Reopening of the Government

Late Thursday night, the new Democratic House passed bills that would reopen the government without paying for Trump’s border wall....

by , Mercy College
Government2 weeks ago

Elizabeth Warren Announces She is Running for President in 2020

On New Years Eve, Senator Elizabeth Warren, (D) Massachusetts, announced that she will become a candidate to enter the 2020...

by , Mercy College
Government3 weeks ago

Senator Elizabeth Warren Wants to Create a Public Option for Generic Drugs

The Massachusetts senator wants to take on big pharma.

by , The Catholic American University
Art1 month ago

Movie Review: Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Roma’

The Mexican director's latest reflects the modern state of the human experience.

by , The Catholic American University
Environment1 month ago

California Mandates All New Public Transit Buses Go Electric by 2029

The Golden State wants their buses more greener on the roads.

by , The Catholic American University
Government1 month ago

New York Governor Cuomo Pushes for Legalizing Recreational Marijuana in 2019

Today, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he will be pushing to legalize recreational marijuana in 2019, according to...

by , Mercy College

Top Reads