Hawaii lawmakers passed legislation earlier this year banning the sale and distribution of sunscreens made with oxybenzone and octinoxate.
Today's signing makes Hawaii the first US state to enact a ban on oxybenzone and octinoxate. Others will certainly need to get sun screen lotions without these chemicals or bring their very own sun block with them to Hawaii.
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"This bill is a small first step worldwide to really caring about our corals and our reefs in a way that no one else anywhere in the world has done", he added. Coral reefs are also a popular draw for tourists.
Oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are in most sunscreen products, are believed by scientists to be toxic to coral reefs. Both are widely used in sunscreen, with oxybenzone present in the blood of 96 percent of Americans, according to the Environmental Working Group.
Studies show the chemicals are harmful to coral reefs.
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While environmentalists and most residents of Hawaii applaud approval of the legislation, some merchants have anxious the move may hurt at the cash register as about 70% of all common sunscreens now on the market would fall under this ban.
But state Rep. Chris Lee, who represents the Honolulu suburbs of Kailua and Waimanalo, said the law is a necessary step to help Hawaii pass on its reefs, ocean, tourism industry and way of life to the next generation.
Leaders have to act rapidly to conserve exactly what reefs globe has actually left, he stated.
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