Gov. David Ige signed a bill banning the sale and distribution of sunscreens containing two chemicals into law shortly after noon at the Capitol Rotunda in Honolulu today.
Senate Bill 2571, introduced by state Sen. Mike Gabbard (D, Kapolei- Makakilo), prohibits the sale and distribution of over-the-counter sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate in Hawaii and was approved by legislators in May. The new law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2021.
“By signing this measure today, we will become the first in the world to enact this type of strong legislation to actively protect our marine ecosystem from toxic chemicals,” said Ige. “This is just one small step for protecting and restoring the resiliency of Hawaii’s reefs.”
These sunscreens are free of the chemicals oxybenzone (benzophenone-3) and/or octinoxate, which will be banned from in-state sales as of Jan. 1, 2021. Most claim water-resistance for 80 minutes.
Active ingredient(s) are noted in parentheses:
>> Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen, Baby, SPF 30+ (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide); bluelizard.net
>> California Kids #Supersensitive Broad Spectrum, SPF 30+ Sunscreen and California Baby Calendula Sunscreen, SPF 30+ (titanium dioxide); californiababy.com
>> Goddess Garden Organics Everyday Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30 (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide); goddessgarden.com
>> Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry-Touch Sunscreen, SPF 50 (zinc oxide); neutrogena.com
>> Raw Elements Face + Body Broad Spectrum, SPF 30 (zinc oxide); rawelementsusa.com
These products contain avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate and octocrylene, which have low or moderate toxicity concerns. Another low-toxicity chemical, Mexoryl SX, is used in European sunscreens but is pending FDA approval for use in the U.S.
>> Walgreens Sunscreen Moisturizing Lotion SPF 50; walgreens.com
>> Coppertone Sport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50; coppertone.com (Note: The spray version contains oxybenzone.)
>> Read labels, as mainstream brands sell other sunscreens with oxybenzone and/or octinoxate.
>> Spray sunscreens are not recommended by the Environmental Working Group, due to a risk of inhalation and difficulty ensuring an adequately thick and even layer on skin.
The signing was met with applause from supporters who had gathered to witness it at the rotunda, including representatives of the Surfrider Foundation, Friends of Hanauma Bay, and the Kohala Center of Hawaii island.
The bill was supported by a number of nonprofit environmental groups, as well as the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. It was opposed by ABC Stores, the Hawaii Medical Association, Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, and Personal Care Products Council. Bayer, which manufactures Coppertone sunscreens, also opposed the bill.