Hawaii might become the first state to ban certain UV filters that are believed to be harmful to coral reefs. At the beginning of May, lawmakers of the Pacific archipelago have passed a bill banning the sale of sunscreen products containing oxybenzone (INCI: Benzophenone-3) and octinoxate (INCI: ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate).
The Bill now awaits the signature of governor David Ige. If signed, the new rule will go into effect on the 1st of January 2021.
“Coral reef degradation is an important environmental issue that we all take very seriously. Causes for coral bleaching have been addressed by scientists around the world who state that the primary causes can be attributed to pollution, climate change and overfishing. While we agree that coral health is of great importance, of similar great concern is the prevalence of skin cancer diagnoses and deaths. The dangers of sun exposure are clear and universally recognized by public health professionals and dermatologists around the world,” commented the Alexandra Kowcz, Chief Scientist of the Personal Care Products Council, the trade association that defends the interest of the beauty industry in the USA.
Since certain studies have implicated sunscreens in the loss of vitality of corals, research on the subject has mushroomed as well as launches of products claiming to be respectful of the oceans.