Hawaii bans sunscreens harmful to marine life

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Gov. David Ige (D) signed a bill on Tuesday banning nearly all sunscreens that contain certain chemicals that damage coral reefs and other marine ecosystems. Sunscreen containing the two chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate will only be available to those with a prescription.

Watch Gov. David Ige's full speech during the bill signing on Tuesday here. He said the state would need to continue other efforts to protect coral, including fighting invasive species, pollution from land runoff and climate change.

Senator Mike Gabbard, who first introduced the bill, labeled SB 271, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that "Hawaii is definitely on the cutting edge by banning these unsafe chemicals in sunscreens".

Hawaii will become the first state to restrict the sale and distribution of sunscreen containing chemicals that can damage the coral reefs after Governor David Ige signs legislation later this week.

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Various sunscreens from the prominent brands including Banana Boat, Australian Gold and Coppertone consist of either oxybenzone or octinoxate, as indicated by a research conducted by the cosmetics ingredients database of the Environmental Working Group.

Hawaii just took a big step to safeguard the state's stunning coral reefs. Lim and other critics say people would be discouraged from wearing sunscreen altogether and skin cancer cases would increase.

State Sen. Mike Gabbard proposed the bill for the first time in May, which is expected to be effective by 2021.

Leaders have to act rapidly to conserve exactly what reefs globe has actually left, he stated. "We've got [a] limited amount of time".

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