Expect A Sunscreen Ban To Increase Globally
Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed the first bill in the United States to ban sunscreens containing chemicals harmful to coral reefs in July 2018. The conversation about chemicals harming coral reefs is not new. Research has proven UV filter chemicals such as Oxybenzone and octinoxate are harmful to coral reefs.
The study by Haereticus Environmental Laboratory, a nonprofit scientific organization, found the chemicals cause bleaching, deformities, DNA damage and ultimately death in coral. Not to mention Oxybenzone is also known to permeate the skin- so who knows what kind of damage we are doing to our bodies. These chemicals are found in many popular sunscreens, in fact, up to 78% of them.
The beaches and waters are the essence of Hawaii’s landscape charm, enticing visitors from across the globe. Protecting marine life and its beauty is important to the longevity and health of the island.
Hawaii is the first in the United States to ban the harmful sunscreen agents. The law restricting the sale of sunscreens with these chemicals on any of its islands will be effective in 2021. Bonaire, an island in the Caribbean, has also placed a similar ban in place.
These chemicals were thought to be helpful in UV protection and has many up in arms about the message.
Should we be protecting natural resources or protecting the skin?
Could you imagine a world without Australia’s Great Barrier Reef or corals to be long lost in the Virgin Islands? And with chemical UV filters known to cause damage to our bodies endocrine system due to entering the blood system, we could be causing damage we have yet to discover.
What type of sunscreen should you be using on your skin?
I spoke to some product formulation experts who believe water and sweat resistant types with uva and uvb absorbers with a pH of about 5 is the best. They recommend products without unhealthy UV chemical filters.
Be prepared to see more destinations banning these damaging sunscreen ingredients in the future.