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Legislation to Ban Sunscreen Ingredient Initiated

June 24, 2016, 4:23 PM HST
* Updated June 24, 4:26 PM
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Big Island Now stock photo. June 2016

Big Island Now stock photo. June 2016

As the 13th annual Coral Reef Symposium comes to end in Waikīkī, State Sen. Will Espero said he will introduce legislation to ban sunscreen with oxybenzone in the state beginning in 2018.

“A ban is the right thing to do in order to protect our fragile marine ecosystem,” said Sen. Espero. “Since our ocean environment is key to our tourism industry and our economic lifeline, banning a chemical substance that harms our coral and other marine animals should be a top priority next year in the state legislature.”

Speakers and scientists at the symposium shared the dangers of oxybenzone on our coral reef and other marine life. Scientists said testing has revealed high levels of oxybenzone in Hawai‘i waters.

Oxybenzone is found in personal care products and is a component of many sunscreen lotions. It has been found to kill coral and negatively affect other marine organisms.

“At the very least, a serious discussion should be had on the value and need of oxybenzone in sunscreen and other products,” Sen. Espero noted.

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