Hawaii To Ban Sunblock For Causing ‘genetic damage to coral and other marine organisms’
Hawaii lawmakers took a break from gun control legislating this week. The sunny vacation island resort destination has (wait for it…) proposed banning some of the biggest brand names in sunscreen from their beaches. This includes, ironically, Hawaiian Tropic. The reason for the ban is because Hawaii now believes that these popular sunscreens are ruining their environment.
The bill states, as reasoning for the ban, “The legislature finds that two chemicals contained in many sunscreens, oxybenzone and octinoxate, have significant harmful impacts on Hawaii’s marine environment and residing ecosystems.”
They specifically noted that Hawaiian Tropic and Coppertone are two of the biggest troublemakers, citing that both “cause mortality in developing coral; increase coral bleaching that indicates extreme stress,” and further “cause genetic damage to coral and other marine organisms.”
The bill goes on to detail how sunblocks with these ingredients can cause birth defects and reproductive diseases in mammals and various marine species. I’m sure many of you are thinking exactly what I’m thinking (but, people lather this stuff all over their bodies, so…).
The law, if passed, wouldn’t go into effect until the beginning of 2021. I’d anticipate some blowback by some of these major sunblock providers, or altered formulas that will specifically be sold to Hawaiins.
Senator Mike Gabbard told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that it “is a first-in-the-world law.” According to him, “Hawaii is definitely on the cutting edge by banning these dangerous chemicals in sunscreens.”
The only exception to the law will be if a doctor medically prescribes a sunblock or lotion that contains these ingredients.