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Hawai’i Governor Signs Bill to Ban Toxic Sunscreens

Yesterday Hawai’i’s Governor David Ige signed Bill SB 2571, Act 104 — prohibiting the sale, offer of sale, and distribution of sunscreens that contain the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate in Hawaii.

The Bill will come into force on 1st January, 2021.

The purpose of this law is to preserve marine ecosystems, including coral reefs. Scientific studies and reports have shows that oxybenzone and octinoxate are toxic to corals and other marine life.

Gov. David Ige

“Studies have documented the negative impact of these chemicals on corals and other marine life. Our natural environment is fragile, and our own interaction with the earth can have lasting impacts. This new law is just one step toward protecting the health and resiliency of Hawai‘i’s coral reefs,” said Gov. Ige.

“Healthy reefs are a fundamental part of a larger ecosystem which is important to the health of our planet. This bill has enormous significance and I’m so happy on behalf of the Senate to be here participating in the signing of this very important bill. Governor, by signing this measure, you are presenting our community with a unique moment in time to protect our coral reefs,” said Sen. Roz Baker

Credit: Hawaii Reef & Ocean Coalition

“In my lifetime, our planet has lost about half its coral reefs. We’ve got to take action to make sure we can protect the other half as best we can because we know that time is against us,” said Rep. Chris Lee

The new law prohibits counties from restricting either chemical until the state ban becomes effective on Jan. 2, 2021. In addition, this law does not include products marketed or intended for use as a cosmetic, not does it include sunscreens prescribed by licensed healthcare providers.

Full press release here.