Hawaii’s coral reefs are in danger, and Hawaii’s lawmakers are currently considering a bill to help save the reefs. Senate Bill 2985, introduced in late January 2018, passed its first reading and was referred to committee hearings.
The bill would prohibits the sale of sunscreen or personal care products that contain oxybenzone or octinoxate in Hawaii, beginning January 1, 2023. It has a companion House Bill 2463.
As the bill says, “coral decline poses a significant threat worldwide. While scientists from around the world agree that the primary causes of coral decline are related to global warming, agricultural runoff, sewage, and overfishing, recent studies have shown that that oxybenzone, a common sunscreen ingredient, also has detrimental effects on coral reefs.”
The bill cites some facts learned when The World Conservation Congress of the International Union for Conservation of Nature met in September 2016 in Honolulu. The Congress disclosed that 2015 research led by a University of Hawai`i professor implicated oxybenzone in coral larvae deformity, bleaching, and DNA damage that weakens coral systems’ adaptability to climate change. The threat is particularly acute in Hawaiian ocean waters where coral bleaching is occurring at a historic rate never before noted in recorded history.
Putting my money where my mouth is, I’ve decided to try to buy more natural sunblocks from now on, even if it’s more expensive from the health food store. So far, I’ve tried and liked Olen Cosmetics and its Sun Blocz 100% natural sunscreen with 24.5% zinc oxide (non-nano), with a SPF 50 – UVA+UVB Broad Spectrum. (And it’s comparably priced!)
It’s water resistant for 80 minutes, hypoallergenic, doesn’t sting eyes, and repels bugs! No parabens, no phthalates, reef safe, no animal testing, its digital flyer promises. It’s good for infants and adults.
You have to shake it before using because the ingredients separate, but once on, it works well, and it smells great. Here’s to having fun and taking care of the coral reef!