Hawaii approves bill banning sunscreen believed to kill coral reefs


Many of us on the peninsula take vacations to Hawaii. When I was last there, a year ago, I heard of this issue, which was new to me. I tried buying some of the “reef friendly” sunscreen but only found it in a specialty dive shop and not in the big grocery chains that most tourists use for groceries. The new lotion is more like what you use when climbing mountains to ward off sun burn at high altitudes. More sticky.

All this is yet another of the unintended consequences of human activity. Tens of millions of people have used the beaches of Hawaii since the 1930s slathering on lotion that, unbeknown to them, were killing the thing they traveled to see. Hopefully it’s not to late to see a reversal of the damage. It will be interesting to see how this affects the chemical composition of normal inexpensive sun screen.

Hawaii lawmakers passed a bill Tuesday that would prohibit the sale of over-the-counter sunscreens containing chemicals it says are contributing to the destruction of the state’s coral reefs and other ocean life. If signed by Gov. David Ige, it would make Hawaii the first state in the country to pass such a law and would take effect on Jan. 1, 2021…. The chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are used in more than 3,500 of the world’s most popular sunscreen products, including Hawaiian Tropic, Coppertone and Banana Boat, would be prohibited. Vanessa Romo reports. (NPR)

Hawaii Approves Bill Banning Sunscreen Believed To Kill Coral Reefs

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