Hawaii governor signs first-ever bill banning sunscreens that harm coral reefs

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David Ige signed legislation prohibiting the sale, offer of sale and distribution of sunscreens that contain the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate - the first state in the nation with the ban.

Those chemicals are: Oxybenzone and Octinoxate, which are found in many commercial sunblocks.

Observations by the journal "Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology", say that sunscreens are accountable for 1.4 ton of toxic substance that flow into coral reefs every year around the world.

"Studies have documented the negative impact of these chemicals on corals and other marine life", the Democratic governor said. "This new law is just one step toward protecting the health and resiliency of Hawai'i's coral reefs". It is an effect that is similar to the application of pesticides or sewage to the reefs. Our state Department of Land and Natural Resources has reported that 55 gallons of sunscreen are going into or near shore waters each day on Maui. Their primary concern hinges upon the theory that providing people with fewer sunscreen choices may lead to fewer people using sunscreen which in turn would lead to more cases of skin cancer.

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"I'm 37 now, and within my lifetime, our planet has lost about half our 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". "We have actually obtained restricted quantity of time", Lee claimed.

State Rep. Mike Gabbard (D) touted the law as a "first-in-the-world" measure when it passed the state legislature in May.

"This is a historic bill for our oceans". Consumers will instead have to buy reef-safe sunscreens lacking the chemicals.

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