Hawaii Considers Banning Sunscreens on Coral Reefs


There's a move afoot in Hawaii state government to ban common types of sunscreens from ocean environments because research is showing this is a contributing factor to the death of corals.

in a recent article by CBS News experts warn that a UV filtering ingredient ozybenzone is the main culprit. This agent has a powerful effect and even at incredibly minute dilution rates. Just an ounce of this chemical in volume the size of a swimming pool can have consequences.

If Hawaii lawmakers pass a bill banning the use of these sunscreens it will be the first state to do so. There alternatives to using products containing oxybenzone; primarily ones that contain titanium or Inc, these are safe. 

My Take:

It's about time the Hawaii state government steps up to the plate on this issue. This is just one of many areas of conservation that direly needs to be addressed in Hawaii. There are other coral reef areas in the world that have had sunscreen bans in effect for decades. I remember stepping on to a snorkel excursion in Xcaret in Mexico many years ago. The staff were actually searching your belongings for sunscreens as they weren't even allowed on the boat. And this was Mexico.  

What with the myriad other impacts on corals like bleaching and rising sea water temperatures, any efforts we can take on a local effort is important.