The lawmakers of Hawaii has passed a bill on Tuesday which is to ban the sale of sunscreens lotion. These lotions contain chemicals which lead to the destruction of the state’s coral reefs and other oceanic life forms. Many sunscreen makers are now forced to change the formulas of the solution, or they will be banned from selling their sunscreen lotions in Hawaii.
The sunscreen lotions contain oxybenzone and octinoxate which are harmful to the coral reefs. State lawmakers passed the law to ban this by 2021 to protect the coral reefs from getting destroyed. As per scientists, two substances are toxic to coral which are a vital part of the ocean. The law to ban sunscreen will pass if it is signed by Gov. David Ige and it will take place from January 1st, 2021.
Mike Gabbard who is the state Sen. and the person who introduced this bill said, “Amazingly, this is a first-in-the-world law. So, Hawaii is definitely on the cutting edge by banning these dangerous chemicals in sunscreens.”
According to a report by NPR, in which a study was carried out on coral reefs during the year 2015 in Hawaii, the US Virgin Islands and Israel found that oxybenzone leads to leaching of coral from its nutrients and make it white. It also disrupts the ocean ecosystem and other wildlife. The researchers estimated that about 14,000 tons of sunscreen lotions already end up in the coral reefs around the world.
Consumers of Hawaii will only be allowed to buy sunscreen lotions with the chemicals if the healthcare provider prescribes it. This law doesn’t ban the online purchase or bringing the same to Hawaii from outside though.
The awareness campaigns about the ban on sunscreen lotions which affects the coral reefs are now growing. As per some report, the growth of the Hawaiian-made natural products is now increasing in the wake of this ban. Some of the Hawaiian businesses are now started to ban this chemicals and trying to change the composition of the lotions even if the governor is yet to sign the law. Caroline Duell, who is the founder of the Safe Sunscreen Council and owner of the natural-sunscreen company said, “Nonprofits, athletes, and hotels in Hawaii are starting to create their regulations for what can and can’t be used.”
Donna Mercado Kim who is a Hawaii State Senator said, this will be our first step protect our reef from getting damage although other factors are also there which degrade the coral reefs. Tina Yamaki who is the president of the Retail Merchants of Hawaii said, “What we’re concerned with is that there aren’t very many independent studies out there that have gone for peer review.” She added by saying that this ban will discourage people from buying the sunscreen products from the local brick-and-mortar stores. It is good to measure for saving our coral reefs and its ecosystem.