Hawaii has prohibited the sale of certain sun creams containing chemicals that can damage the island’s ecosystem.
It’s the first US state to make such a move.
The sale, offer of sale, and distribution of sunscreens that contain the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate will be banned from 1 January 2021.
The chemicals are found in numerous over-the-counter sun creams and help filter UV rays.
The legislative bill was signed by Hawaii Governor David Ige last week.
The purpose of this law is to preserve marine ecosystems, including coral reefs.
Scientific studies have shows that oxybenzone and octinoxate are toxic to corals and other marine life.
“Studies have documented the negative impact of these chemicals on corals and other marine life,” said Governor Ige.
“Our natural environment is fragile, and our own interaction with the earth can have lasting impacts.
“This new law is just one step toward protecting the health and resiliency of Hawaii’s coral reefs.”
Around 25 per cent of sun cream is washed off human skin within 20 minutes of being in water.
This means approximately 6,000 tonnes of suncream is filtering into coral reefs around the world each year, according to the US National Park Service.
Hawaiian reefs are particularly damaged by this, with the coral suffering from serious bleaching.
Oxybenzone is found in around 3,500 sun creams.
Just one drop of the potent chemical in six-and-a-half swimming pools of water is noxious enough to cause bleaching, starvation, DNA damage and reproductive problems in coral reefs, research has shown, reports the Telegraph.
Oxybenzone infects an algae crucial for the reef’s survival called zooxanthellae as well as damaging the development of baby coral.
However, the law does not include products marketed or intended for use as a cosmetic, not does it include sunscreens prescribed by licensed healthcare providers.
The ruling does not mean tourists have to go without suncream. Other creams don’t have these chemicals and instead include ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which place a physical barrier between your skin and the sun and reflect its rays. Such options are more limited, however.
To protect yourself from sun burn, the NHS advises buying sunscreen with a label that includes a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 to protect against UVB and at least four-star UVA protection
“As a guide, adults should aim to apply around two teaspoons of sunscreen,” advised the NHS.
“If you’re just covering your head, arms and neck two tablespoons if you’re covering your entire body while wearing a swimming costume.”
This is how to protect your skin during a heatwave.
Source : EXPRESS