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Hawaii passes bill to ban over 3,500 sunscreen products to protect coral reefs

Sunscreen Toxicity Ratings
(image courtesy of EWG Skin Deep)

Millions of tourists flock to beautiful Hawaii every year to enjoy the natural beauty of the islands. Many are drawn to the stunning beaches and the superb diving on offer in the North Pacific Ocean. Unbeknown to many, some varieties of sunscreen have been damaging the very life that attracted visitors in the first place.

Recently Sen. Mike Gabbard introduced the bill that would prohibit the sale of over the counter sunscreens containing the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate.

“Hawaii is the first state in the nation to pass a measure of this magnitude. The world was watching. We delivered. Preserve and protect our ocean environment!” said state Sen. Will Espero on Twitter after the SB2571 bill passed in his chamber. If the bill is signed by Hawaii Governor, David Ige, it will go into effect 1 January 2021.

A 2015 study that was published in the journal Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology found that these chemicals affect corals and fish in a variety of ways. An estimated 14,000 tons of sunscreen lands in the oceans each year causing untold damage. The bill is not banning all sunscreens, there are environmentally friendly suncream options available for swimmers and divers.

The next time you enter our precious ocean, whether in Hawaii or another diving destination, make sure that you make a responsible choice when selecting your sun protection cream.

If you choose Hawaii as your next diving holiday, act now and you could get up to 28% discount on selected departure dates with the Kona Aggressor II.

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