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The state of Hawaii has passed a bill banning sunscreens that contain chemicals known to have a destructive effect on coral reefs. Once it is signed by Governor David Ige, Bill SB2571 will become the first law of its kind in the world and will take effect on January 1, 2021.

Over 3,500 sunscreens now available on the market contain chemicals that have been proven by scientists to contribute to coral bleaching when washed off in the ocean, TreeHugger reports. Oxybenzone and octinoxate, the chemicals in question, are common ingredients in sunscreens such as Coppertone, Banana Boat, Hawaiian Tropic, and many more. The elements filter and absorb UV light, blocking out the sun’s radiation – but when they get into the water, as they inevitably do, oxybenzone and octinoxate go on to cause severe damage to coral and to fish.

Researchers found that around 14,000 tons of sunscreen end up in the world’s coral reefs every year. The two harmful chemicals end up bleaching coral white, leach its nutrients, and reduce its resiliency when it comes to climate change. For fish, the substances are known to be endocrine disrupters that cause reproductive diseases, embryonic deformation, and feminization of male fish.

According to Haereticus Environmental Laboratory, the chemicals are even harmful to mammals, and “especially humans.” The laboratory points out that “oxybenzone has been shown to induce photo-allergic contact dermatitis in 16-25 percent of the population. Oxybenzone causes toxicity to sperm development and sperm viability, reduced prostate weight in mature males, and reduced uterine weight in juvenile females.”

Hawaii’s decision to ban the chemicals will greatly help the environment and let the coral reefs recover from the damage they have already suffered because of the two substances. It will also preserve the state’s famous beaches and snorkeling areas.

It is important to remember that, although they are among the ingredients of many sunscreens, oxybenzone and octinoxate are not in all of them – which means that it is not all sunscreens that are harmful to the environment. Sunblock is an important part of our protection from harmful effects of solar radiation. For more information on what products are safe, check out EWG’s Guide to Sunscreens.

Image source: goo/Pixabay

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0 comments on “Hawaii Approves Ban on Sunscreen Chemicals That Kill Coral Reefs (And They’re Not Great For You Either)”

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5 Months Ago


Patty M
5 Months Ago

I\'m really glad to see this happen! We\'re only just now beginning to realize what we\'ve been doing to our oceans. We\'re killing everything that lives there!! I disagree with the statement that says that some sunscreen is good for us, though. The sun is actually good for us, it helps our bodies create vitamin D3, which is next to impossible to create artificially. If you have the correct minerals in your healthy diet, your body will develop a natural resistance to burning from the sun. Yet another reason to eat healthy. Those who would control us don\'t want us to get the sun we need to be healthy, that\'s why sunscreen was created in the first place, and the fact that it kills the coral and harms the fish is just a plus for them. You think they\'re spraying our skies because they don\'t have anything better to do? They\'re trying to cover up the sun\'s rays so they can\'t reach us. THEY DON\'T WANT US TO BE HEALTHY!!! Healthy people are not profitable to them. They want customers! Are you waking up to the truth yet? If not, you better start, and now would be a really good time. We need as many humans to be awake and aware as possible so we can fight their agenda. "Conspiracy is only a theory until you have proof." Look around you. How much more proof do you need?


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