Why Hawaii is Banning Sunscreen

May 15, 2018

It’s safe to say that protecting your skin from too much sun is exceedingly important. The hazard of sunburns and skin cancers is real, but in recent years it’s come to the world’s attention that sunscreen might not be the ultimate solution we thought it was. Ever wonder what happens after you lather up and then jump in the ocean, lake, or river? Us too.

The state of Hawaii has been evidently thought about this too. So much so that they are on track to ban the sale of sunscreens containing chemicals that is known to be toxic to coral reefs and marine life. The bill was just passed by the Hawaii state legislature and will go to the governor’s office, where it needs to be signed. If that happens, the ban will go into effect in about three years (2021), and Hawaii will begin commanding the charge to guard our earth from the destructive effects of common sunscreen chemicals.

Which chemicals are we most concerned about? Ocybenzone and octinoxate have been shown to leach coral of its nutrients and also create challenges for fish and other sea creatures including algae and sea urchins. According to a study published in the Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, about 14,000 tons of sunscreen finds its way to coral reefs around the world. Naturally, this contamination is the worst in destinations like Hawaii and the Caribbean, which are warm year-round and usually bursting with beach-going travelers. And if those chemicals are doing that to our environment imagine what it’s doing to our bodies.

So what sunscreens are the best to purchase? Sadly, a large amount of common sunscreens contain oxybenzone and octinoxate. However, the good news is that there are also a lot of brands that are using ingredients like titanium oxide and zinc oxide instead. Just be sure to read your labels before buying!



どの化学物質を最も懸念していますか? OcybenzoneとOctinoxateは、サンゴ栄養を浸出させ、藻類やウニなどの魚類やその他の海洋生物にも問題を引き起こすことが証明されています。Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicologyに掲載された調査によると、約14,000トンの日焼け止め剤が世界中のサンゴ礁を汚染しています。当然のことながら、この汚染環境は一年中暖かく、いつも浜辺の旅行者が溢れているハワイやカリブ海のような都市では最悪です。 そして、それらの化学物質が我々の環境に及ぼしていること、すなわち、それらが人々の体に与える影響を想像してみてください。

では、どのような日焼け止めを購入するのが最適でしょうか? 悲しいことに、殆どの一般的な日焼け止め剤にはオキシベンゾンとオクトキシクエートが含まれていますが、よいニュースとして、代わりに酸化チタンや酸化亜鉛のような成分を使っている多くのブランドがあるということです。 購入する前にその成分表を必ず読んでください!