Hawaii lawmakers approve ban on sunscreens with chemicals harmful to coral reefs

'This will make a huge difference in protecting our coral reefs, marine life, and human health'

Image Credits: Stefan Irvine/LightRocket via Getty Images.

Hawaii lawmakers passed a bill Tuesday that prohibits the sale of sunscreens believed to be harmful to ocean ecosystems, including coral reefs.

The bill, if signed into law by the state’s governor, David Ige, will make Hawaii the first U.S. state to enact such a ban starting Jan. 1, 2021.

“These chemicals have also been shown to degrade corals’ resiliency and ability to adjust to climate change factors and inhibit recruitment of new corals,” the text of the bill explains.

The measure, introduced by state Sen. Mike Gabbard (D), bans the sale and distribution of any sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate; however, prescription sunscreens containing those chemicals will not be affected by the ban.

Read more