Hawaii bans sunscreens that harm reef

Sep 30, 2018 by Triton Staff

Hawaii Gov. David Ige this summer signed the first bill in the country that will ban sunscreens containing chemicals harmful to coral reefs, CNN has reported.

The bill, passed by state lawmakers in May, takes effect on Jan. 1, 2021, after which the sale or distribution of over-the-counter sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate will be prohibited.

The ban follows a study done by the nonprofit Haereticus Environmental Laboratory that found the chemicals cause bleaching, deformities, DNA damage and ultimately death in coral when they’re washed off beachgoers or discharged into wastewater treatment plants and deposited into bodies of water.

Critics of the ban contend that it will lead to a reduction in the use of sunscreen, a major public health concern.

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