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Hawaii bans sale of sunscreens with coral-harming chemicals

/ 07:38 AM July 04, 2018

People enjoy the water at Baby Makapuu beach in Honolulu. (AFP FILE PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM)

HONOLULU — Hawaii Gov. David Ige has signed a legislation that will ban the sale of sunscreens containing two chemicals believed to harm coral reefs.

Tuesday’s signing makes Hawaii the first US state to enact a ban on oxybenzone and octinoxate. The prohibition takes effect in 2021.

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Scientists have found the two substances can be toxic to coral, which are a vital part of the ocean ecosystem and a popular draw for tourists.

Consumers will instead have to buy reef-safe sunscreens lacking the chemicals.

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Critics said there are not enough independent scientific studies supporting the assertion that the chemicals harm coral reefs.

The group Retail Merchants of Hawaii said it is concerned the ban will discourage people from buying sunscreen at brick and mortar stores. /kga

 

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TAGS: ban, chemical, Conservation, coral reef, Ecosystem, environment, Hawaii, octinoxate, oxybenzone, sunscreen, Tourism, US
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