Home / Science / Hawaii sunscreen forbidden: Governor Ige to sign proposition banning coral reefs harmful products

Hawaii sunscreen forbidden: Governor Ige to sign proposition banning coral reefs harmful products

Beachgoers are seen in Waikiki. (Caleb Jones / AP file)

From Banana Boat to Coppertone, major sun protection brands will soon have to change their products or stop selling them in Hawaii.

Government legislators adopted legislation in May that would prevent skin care companies from selling and distributing sunscreen on the islands containing two chemicals that are considered coral reefs. The bill is the opposite of various companies and business associations, as well as some dermatologists who are worried that the prohibition may discourage people from wearing sun protection at all.

But Gov. David Ige (D) is expected to sign the bill this week. Hawaii the first state to adopt legislation to protect marine ecosystems by prohibiting such sunscreen.

The bill, SB 2571, says that the chemicals, oxybenzone and octinoxate, "have significant adverse effects on the Hawaiian marine environment and resident ecosystems. " The legislation aims to keep sunscreen products containing these chemicals from store shelves. However, the products would still be available to those who have a prescription from a licensed healthcare provider, according to the legislation.

State Secretary Mike Gabbard (D), who presented the bill, told the Honolulu Star Advertiser that it would be "a first class team".

"So, Hawaii is definitely in advance by banning these hazardous chemicals in sunscreen," said Gabbard in an email to the newspaper. "When you think about it, our island paradise, surrounded by coral reefs, is the perfect place to set gold standards for the world to follow. This will make a big difference in protecting our coral reefs, marine life and human health." [19659009] According to Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, coral reefs are crucial to human marine and human life.

In addition to protecting marine life, Smithsonian said, the reef provides food, medicine and tourism jobs worth $ 30 billion to $ 172 billion a year.

"Unfortunately, people are also the biggest threat to coral reefs" according to Smithsonian. "Overfishing and destructive fishing, pollution, warming, altered marine chemistry and invasive species all take a huge toll. In some places, the reef has been completely destroyed, and in many places reefs today are a pale shadow of what they once were." [19659012] Environmental organizations claim that some sunscreen – any research that has shown can rinse away from the skin to the water while swimming or bathing – may be toxic to coral reefs.

SB 2471 states:

Oxybenzone and octinoxate cause mortality in coral development; Increase coral bleaching indicating extreme stress, even at temperatures below 87.8 degrees Fahrenheit; and cause genetic damage to corals and other marine organisms. These chemicals have also been shown to impair the elasticity of corals and ability to adapt to climate change factors and to inhibit the recruitment of new corals. In addition, oxybenzone and octinoxate appear to increase the likelihood of endocrine disorders.

"The legislature also finds that environmental pollution of oxibensone and octinoxate remains in Hawaii's coastal waters, as pollution is constantly updated and renewed every day by swimmers and beachgoers,

Star Advertiser reported that the proposed law, which would come into force in 2021 , opposed by ABC Stores, the Hawaii Medical Association, the Hawaiian Food Industry Association, the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, the Personal Care Products Council and Bayer, which manufactures sunscreen by Coppertone.

Jay Sirois, Head of Regulatory Responsibility for a Association representing Sunscreen Manufacturers, told recently for NPR: "We remove a product or products … which have been shown to be safe and effective" against the harmful effects of the sun.

Bayer said in a statement in May that the company intends to follow legislation, but that "elimination of the use of sunscreen that is considered safe and effective by the FDA with a low Any history of use not only limits the consumer choice but also contravenes skin cancer prevention efforts. What has been scientifically proven is that exposure to UV radiation from the sun causes skin cancer. And sunscreen is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself from UV exposure, in addition to wearing protective clothing, sunglasses and shading. "

Edgewell Personal Care, which manufactures banana boat and Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen, The time some of its products are already available without oxybenzone and octinoxate."

"Some of our products contain FDA-approved amounts of oxybenzone and octinoxate, active ingredients designed to protect the skin against harmful effects of ultraviolet light and provide critical broad spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays, the company says. "The ingredients in our products are clearly listed in the active ingredients on the label so that consumers can make informed purchase decisions. As always, we continue to make sure that we comply with all relevant provisions regarding oxybenzone and octinoxate."

Johnson & Johnson, who Neutrogena owns, agreed with the position of its trade organization, Consumer Healthcare Products Association. The association said that "the health, safety and well-being of millions of Hawaiian residents and tourists has been harmed by SB 2571, which aims to ban" at least 70 percent of sunscreens on the market today, based on weak science that blames sunbathing for coral reef damage. "

" Overwhelming scientific evidence shows that excess sun exposure without effective sunscreen enhances the risk of developing skin cancer in both adults and children, "the association said in a statement in May. "Banning oxybenzone and octinoxate – important ingredients in effective sunscreen products on the market – will drastically and unnecessarily reduce the choice of safe and effective sunscreens available to residents and visitors. Oxybenzone and octinoxate, found in most sunscreen products, are safe and effective active ingredients (OTC), which is characterized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an important tool for reducing the risk of developing skin cancer, the most common cancer in the United States.

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