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Hawaii prohibits certain sunscreens to protect coral reefs



HONOLULU, Hawaii (KABC) –

Hawaiian Governor David Ige has enacted a law banning sunscreens that contain two chemicals believed to be harmful to coral reefs.

Sunscreen containing the two chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate will only be available to those with a prescription. Others will have to buy sunscreen without these chemicals or bring their own sunscreen to Hawaii.

"This is just one small step to protect and restore the resilience of Hawaii's reefs," Ige said at a signing ceremony on the bill. which goes into effect in 2021.

Hawaii is the first state to enact this ban, which aims to protect a vital part of the ocean ecosystem. Coral reefs are also a popular attraction for tourists.

However, critics say there is not enough evidence to support the claim that chemicals are bad for coral reefs.

The Hawaiian retail group has said it is worried the ban will discourage people from buying sunblock in brick and mortar stores.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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