Hawaii is about to make a significant decision that should help when it comes to the protection of the coral reefs. The governor has to decide whether he is going to sign a bill that bans the sale of sunscreens which contain oxybenzone or octinoxate.
So far, the bill passed all the legal obstacles, and it appears that it might soon become law. The sale of these products would be banned starting January 1, 2021, and this is supposed to help the state “preserve marine ecosystems.”
Saving the coral reefs one step at a time
The decision to ban specific sunscreen comes after numerous studies. Researchers have discovered that the coral reefs are vulnerable when it comes to oxybenzone. Sadly, this substance comes off sunbathers when they swim into the ocean.
According to the scientist, oxybenzone causes deformities in baby coral as it impacts the DNA. A 2015 National Ocean Service report concluded that oxybenzone is “highly toxic to juvenile corals and other marine life.”
Numerous types of sunscreen use this chemical so you might be wondering what should you use instead. According to a Live Science post, people should buy “mineral sunscreens that use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to physically block the sun’s rays are still allowed. These sunscreens have fallen out of favor because they often leave a white sheen on the skin, but marine biologists say it’s worth looking a little goofy to save reefs.”
One of the recommended sunscreens is Raw Elements. This product is marine friendly, and it already has a partnership with Hawaiian Airlines for a program that is meant to protect the reefs. The airline will sell Raw Elements products at a discount for all flights between the islands. The offer will exist until June.