Last month, the Hawaii legislature enacted a law that bans sunscreens that include two common sun blocking chemicals: oxybenzone and octinoxate. State legislators pointed to a study from the Haereticus Environmental Laboratory that found these chemicals can contribute to coral bleaching and can hinder coral reproductive growth.
While the law does not go into effect until 2021, many hotels and other companies like Hawaiian Airlines are encouraging beach goers to use “reef-safe” sunscreens that are made from chemicals and minerals like zinc oxide and titanium oxide that have particles larger than 100 nanometers. Anything smaller may be absorbed by the coral.
ASDSA remains committed to ensuring access to sunscreens approved by the FDA because they serve as a critical preventative measure to skin cancer. Through the SUNucate Coalition, ASDSA works to remove barriers that prohibit access to important sun-protective measures, such as sunscreen and sun-protective clothing. For more information, visit our position statement or read our model bill.