Legislators in Hawaii are trying to ban the sale of sunscreens that contain two UV-filtering chemicals, after studies suggested that they harm coral reefs.
Senator Will Espero presented a bill to the state congress on January 20 that would ban sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate (except under medical prescriptions) in Hawaii. Espero argued that a ban is crucial to maintaining the health of coral reefs – an tourist attraction on which Hawaii relies.
The call to ban sunscreens containing oxybenzone, a chemical found in nearly 70-percent of non-mineral sunscreens, according to EWG, occurred last June following the 13th International Coral Reef Symposium in Honolulu. Expert panels stressed the need for a ban on oxybenzone, a recommendation scientists have been making for years, and urged consumers to avoid products containing the chemical.
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