Sunscreen

JeepersMedia / Flickr
JeepersMedia / Flickr

This week is a busy one for Hawai‘i’s visitor industry. And while another record year is expected for tourism, more people at the beach means plenty of sunscreen ends up in the ocean. There’s now a movement in Maui County to ban sunscreen containing chemicals that scientists say are harming the reefs. We get more from HPR contributing reporter Colleen Uechi of The Maui News

Wayne Yoshioka

Legislation to ban certain sunscreen chemicals in Hawai’i stalled in the final days of the 2017 session.  But, state lawmakers are already starting their push to pass the bills next year.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

The chemical, oxybenzone, is an active ingredient in many sunscreen products.  Evidence provided by PhD environmental researcher, Craig Downs, links oxybenzone to the killing of baby coral and eventually entire reef systems in populated areas worldwide.

Robert S. Donovan / Flickr

The Department of Land and Natural Resources is urging the public to be cautious when choosing sunscreen.

At an IUCN news conference, officials said a popular additive called Oxybenzone is being linked to coral death.  According to a new report, some 14,000 tons of sunscreen lotions wind up in coral reefs around the world each year.