The prohibition of sunscreen in Hawaii in terms of its use and sale is now included in the Hawaii Bill. If the bill is actually passed, then Hawaii will be the first country to ban the use of sunscreen in its territory.
Using sunscreen is good for the skin because it can protect the skin from ultraviolet rays. The use of sunscreen is usually worn when going to a place exposed to direct sunlight, such as the beach. Although good for human skin, but who would have thought, sunscreen was not good because the marine biota can even be destructive.
Based on research studies found that some famous sunscreen products contain chemicals that are harmful to marine ecosystems. Therefore, Hawaii made a bill banning the sale of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate chemicals to protect coral reefs in Hawaii.
A study conducted by the Haeriticus Environmental Laboratory (nonprofit science organization) found that chemicals that help screen UV rays can cause severe damage to the Hawaiian ocean environment. According to some scientists, the two chemicals mentioned earlier contributed to coral bleaching.
Coral bleaching occurs when elevated sea temperatures kill algae that grow inside the reef causing the reef to turn white. The bleaching also affects the loss of nutrients that support other marine life.
Extreme measures taken by Hawaii to ban the use of sunscreens consider the fact that more than 3,500 sunscreen products contain oxybenzone and octinoxate. In the year 2015 also the journal Environmental Contamination and Toxicology states that as many as 14,000 tons of sunscreen enter the coral reef every year.
That’s what causes Hawaii to trigger a bill about the prohibition of sunscreen. The regulation states that Hawaii prohibits the sale of sunscreen containing both harmful chemicals, oxybenzone, and octinoxate without a prescription from a licensed physician.
The bill also states that the chemical content can kill coral growth, increase coral bleaching, and cause genetic damage to coral and other marine organisms.
Currently, the bill has been sent to Hawaii Governor David Ige’s office and is just waiting for his signature. If the signature has been obtained, then the rule will come into effect on January 1, 2021, later. That is, if the governor has approved it, then this rule will be the first law in the world.
While waiting for the bill to be passed, the effort that Hawaii has made to protect its coral reefs is through cooperation with Hawaiian Airlines. Since last month the fleet began offering free samples of natural sunscreen without harmful chemicals to its passengers.
The fleet also provides an 11-minute documentary video to encourage passengers to learn more about Hawaii. The video is shown in every flight, its content on environmental challenges that affect the development of coral reefs.
However, the prohibition of sunscreen is still reaping pros and cons because some scientists argue that they are not sure the ban will have a big impact. However, even the smallest effort that can be done to protect coral reefs will make them last longer.
Because of the existence of coral reefs have a very important role in the marine ecosystem, then we are all obliged to maintain and preserve it. If indeed a kind of Bill issued by Hawaii needed to protect the habitat of coral reefs, we are also obliged to obey the rules of the prohibition of sunblock in Hawaii.