Submitted by: Selena Guo
Recently, Hawaii passed a bill banning sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate. The reason for this is because these chemicals are causing damage to the coral reefs by bleaching them and hurting the animals that rely on the reefs for shelter.
Nevertheless, there are still many options for beach-going visitors, especially since sun safety is imperative to prevent burns and skin cancer. Physical sunscreens, as they are called, do not contain these harmful chemicals and thus are not banned. Physical sunscreens usually use titanium oxide or zinc oxide to block powerful sun rays.
Our health doesn’t have to cost the environment. In banning chemical sunscreens, Hawaii has shown that humans can work together with the oceans and create a better environment for all.