Hawaii Bans Toxic Sunscreen To Prevent Reef Death and Decline
In July of this year, Hawaii passed a law banning sunscreens containing chemicals harmful to coral reefs. The bill goes into effect 1 Jan 2021 prohibiting sale or distribution of sunscreen made with oxybenzone & octinoxate--these are chemicals that help filter UV rays. As opposed to a physical barrier preventing UV rays from accessing skin, like small bits of mineral that spread onto skin thick & white to block the sun; ie. non-nano particle zinc oxide. This is the main ingredient in natural products like my fav @sunbutteroceans & my homemade sun cream (which will be in my book & on youtube). Not only is sunscreen packaged in plastic (hence why I started blending up my own), but the guilty ingredients are similar to the chemicals I warn about that leach from plastics (interviews on this stuff & info on my youtube).
Oxybenzone is a chemical barrier to the sun that penetrates our permeable skin & can build up in our bodies over time (just like plastic estrogenics), gradually leading to weight gain, depression, infertility, & other serious health issues. .
Coral reef is just as sensitive. The sunscreen chemicals cause bleaching, deformities, DNA damage & ultimately death in coral when they wash off swimmers. Can you picture the oil slick forming around you after you've slathered up your skin? Now imagine the fragile eco-systems surrounding the Hawaiian islands suffocating on the millions of tourists that frequent the magical waters.
These particular chemicals disrupt the symbiotic relationship between the coral & algae: the coral larva encases itself in its own skeleton, where it falls to the bottom of the sea & dies.
The constant presence of toxin-slicked up swimmers polluting the waters means no new generations of coral have the chance to form, thus scientists have seen a slow decline of the coral reefs in Hawaii, resulting in a desolate ocean floor of muck, mud, & sand. (Craig Downs, Haereticus Environmental Laboratory)
Dead coral is not going to make Hawaii the big tourist $ (HEY AUSTRALIA, MAYBE DON'T LET ADANI KILL YOUR GREAT BARRIER REEF #stopadani ) so it was wise to ban the toxic sunscreens that all of us thought were the sun smart choice. Damn, another case of something being okay on the micro level, but when on the macro scale has a hugely negative impact.
This is why I love to support local solutions, local makers, local campaigns.
We are all a part of one giant interconnected beautiful eco-system with one incredibly biodiverse ocean full of mysteries & wonders. We have a lot of work to do to clean up our impact on this magic water planet. This law banning sunscreen is SO incredibly inspiring to me.