Hawaii is first state to ban sale of certain sunscreens

Hawaii on Tuesday became the first state in the nation to begin enacting ban on the sale of sunscreens containing coral-harming chemicals. The chemicals, oxybenzone and octinoxate, are believed by scientists to be toxic to coral reefs. These chemicals are in the majority of sunscreen products.

Hawaii on Tuesday became the first state in the nation to begin enacting ban on the sale of sunscreens containing coral-harming chemicals. The chemicals, oxybenzone and octinoxate, are believed by scientists to be toxic to coral reefs. These chemicals are in the majority of sunscreen products. "Oxybenzone and octinoxate cause mortality in developing coral; increase coral bleaching that indicates extreme stress, even at temperatures below 87.8 degrees Fahrenheit; and cause genetic damage to coral and other marine organisms," according to the bill. Once the law goes into effect, sunscreen containing oxybenzone and octinoxate will only be available to those with a prescription from a physician. Others will have to buy sunscreens without these chemicals or bring their own sunscreen with them to Hawaii. The law will not become effective until 2021.