Hawaii's Chemical Sunscreen Ban Just Went Into Effect

UPDATE (January 4, 2020 10:45 A.M. EST): As of January 1, Hawaii's ban on chemical sunscreens is in full effect. Specifically, the ban applies to the sales and distribution of sunscreens made with ingredients oxybenzone and octinoxate, that research shows can contribute to the damage to coral reefs when washed off skin and into the water. 

According to the New York Times, the ban has been opposed by some makers of chemical sunscreens, who point out that both ingredients banned are FDA-approved and can prevent skin cancer. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of reef-safe sunscreens out there that provide all the same UV protection with physical blockers like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. The minerals in a sunscreen must be considered "non-nano" (meaning bigger than 100 nanometers) in order to be considered safe for the ocean. 

Look for a sunscreen labeled "reef-safe" or "marine-safe" like Tropic Sport — and be sure to pick one that's SPF 30 or higher. 

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