Sen. Will Espero says he will introduce legislation for Hawaii to ban sunscreen with oxybenzone beginning in 2018. This comes as the 13th annual Coral Reef Symposium comes to an end in Waikiki.
Scientists say oxybenzone has been found to kill coral and negatively affect other marine organisms. At the symposium, researchers said testing has revealed high levels of oxybenzone in Hawaii waters.
"A ban is the right thing to do in order to protect our fragile marine eco-system," said Sen. Espero. "Since our ocean environment is key to our tourism industry and our economic lifeline, banning a chemical substance that harms our coral and other marine animals should be a top priority next year in the state legislature."
"Oxybenzone -- it kills [coral]," said Craig Downs of the Haereticus Environmental Laboratory. "It turns them into zombies if it doesn't kill them outright. It makes them sterile and you do not get coral recruitment."
"If we can reduce the impact, the load of these chemicals on corals, they will be more resilient to climate change," said Director of Marine Safety Mirella Von Lindenfels.
Story Here: http://www.kitv.com/story/32304624/hawaii-senator-to-introduce-oxybenzone-ban-to-protect-coral-reefs