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Sunscreen ban seeks to protect coral reefs

Discussion in 'US - Hawaii Timesharing' started by RNCollins, Jul 4, 2018.

  1. RNCollins

    RNCollins TUG Member

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    Sunscreen ban seeks to protect coral reefs
    https://www.travelweekly.com/Hawaii-Travel/Insights/Sunscreen-ban-seeks-to-protect-coral-reefs
    By Tovin Lapan / Travel Weekly / May 25, 2018

    “The Hawaii legislature has passed a ban on sunscreens containing chemicals believed to harm coral reefs.

    Hawaii is the first state to prohibit the sale and distribution of sunscreen with oxybenzone and octinoxate, which scientists have discovered contributes to coral bleaching when washed off in the ocean.

    The state legislature considered a similar bill in 2017 but it stalled out before passage. This year it made it through both houses, and now awaits the signature of Gov. David Ige. The new rules are not set to take effect until Jan. 1, 2021.

    Reefs around the globe, from Australia's Great Barrier Reef to Haunama Bay in Hawaii and off Florida's southern coast, have suffered serious damage in the last few years after consecutive bleaching events. Bleaching occurs when corals are stressed by warmer-than-average water temperatures and other factors, and the colorful photosynthetic algae that live inside, zooxanthellae, are expelled. The coral cannot survive without the symbiotic relationship, and when ocean temperatures do not return to normal quickly enough, the reefs may die. Pollution, including sewage and agricultural runoff, are serious threats to reef heath, as well, but switching sunscreens is one way swimmers and those who enjoy the ocean can have an impact, proponents of the ban say....”
    9F19D896-A167-44FC-9E5B-8BA254BCC212.jpeg
     
  2. controller1

    controller1 TUG Member

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    This legislation was signed by the Governor Tuesday. It does not prohibit the possession or use of the sunscreen containing oxybenzone and octinoxate, just the sale of such sunscreens.

    It certainly pits those wishing to protect the coral reefs against dermatologists who believe people will use no sunscreen or less-effective mineral-based sunscreen.
     
  3. Tamaradarann

    Tamaradarann TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I just hope the sunscreen manufacturers use the next 2 years to come up with some good alternative sunscreens. While I rarely go in the water, I must use it every time I go out in the sun (melanoma survivor) and the I don't like the non-oxybenzone alternatives that I have tried in the past. Because this is just a State of Hawaii Law and not the rest of the U.S. or World, the manufacturers don't have a large economic interest in developing alternatives.
     
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  4. controller1

    controller1 TUG Member

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    I also hope the next couple of years will bring about some research into effective sunscreens. The mineral-based sunscreens only reflect UVA/UVB rays instead of absorbing them as the chemical-based sunscreens do. As such, the mineral-based sunscreens are not as effective and allow more penetration of UVA/UVB rays.
     
  5. Lisa P

    Lisa P TUG Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Oxybenzone and octinoxate are in many, many personal care products (make-up, hair conditioner, nail polish, fragrance) as both a product quality preservative and SPF-boosting additive. These, and sunscreens, are all used everywhere, not just at the beach. In a 2003 study, 96% of American adults tested had traces of these toxic chemicals in the urine. Apparently, we don't clear them out nearly as fast as we absorb them through our skin. Some toxin is washed/showered off and enters sewage. Research (best I can see on the CDC and NCBI/NIH websites) has yet not shown an effective method of removing or safely altering these toxins through water treatment facilities so most of it ends up in the oceans eventually. Sunscreen at the beach is just a part of the problem.

    In mammal research, these chemicals have been linked to increased free radicals in the skin and hormone (think thyroid or estrogen) disruption. This may be a concern for both land and marine mammals exposed to significant amounts, as well as the corals. But the consistent application of these chemicals to our skin has been demonstrated to significantly reduce the incidence of (potentially lethal) squamous and basal cell carcinomas. There's the big catch.

    Sunblocks, like greasy, white, zinc-oxide-based creams are also highly effective but clog pores and people don't like the appearance of them. Other, more "natural" sunscreens are much more expensive, less widely available, and importantly, provide less protection with an SPF rating only up to 20-30. Australia (like Hawaii, their beaches are closer to the equator than the southern U.S.) has a benchmark SPF of 50+ for sunscreen products. Efficacy (effectiveness) is primary in fighting cancer.

    We need sun protection that is effective, safe for us and safe for the environment. Multiple areas of research are needed. This new law is just the tiny tip of a large iceberg, IMO.
     
    vacationhopeful likes this.
  6. tompalm

    tompalm TUG Member

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    I second that. I live walking distance to Hanauma Bay, but I have not been in the ocean in five years or maybe longer than that. I will not feel guilty about buying my sunscreen when I travel to the mainland and wearing that in Hawaii.
     
  7. bogey21

    bogey21 TUG Member

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    Two or three days ago the was an article in the Dallas Morning News about a company that right now sells a sunscreen that doesn't have the objectionable ingredients...

    George
     
  8. bnoble

    bnoble TUG Member

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  9. Tamaradarann

    Tamaradarann TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I just checked Amazon's price for Thinksport SPF50 sunscreen and the 6 oz bottle is a little cheaper, about $19. That is about twice the price I usually pay for an 8 oz bottle of my current sunscreen in Honolulu. However, I do buy it on sale in NY for less. We vacation in Hawaii for quite a number of days each year and I use a lot of sunscreen everyday since we are always out walking around most of the day. While I do bring an 8 oz. tube to Hawaii, I usually buy a number of them there. The weight limit on our luggage does make bringing a large supply prohibitive. I hope that the sunscreen manufacturers do develop alternatives and make the price more competitive.
     
  10. controller1

    controller1 TUG Member

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    There are quite a few sunscreens that do not have the list of banned ingredients. However, they are all mineral-based sunscreens which have been proven to be less effective in blocking UVA/UVB rays. Hopefully, the sunscreen companies are working overtime to develop a reef-safe sunscreen with an ingredient that absorbs the UVA/UVB rays similar to today's more effective sunscreens.
     
  11. NTP66

    NTP66 TUG Member

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    How is it to apply? I bought Blue Lizard for when I went into the ocean last month in Maui, and while it did protect me from the sun, applying the product was truly awful. So, I'm looking for alternatives.

    And FWIW, just about every major manufacturer now makes zinc-based sunscreen, most of which can be found at any Target.
     
  12. Tamaradarann

    Tamaradarann TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I look at this quest for a new sunscreen like the quest for other items that my husband and I feel comfortable with and like only to have to change because the manufacturer stops making it or, in this case, the government changes the law. It is not like our needs or desires have changed. It is the others are making us change. and I

    My husband and I used MBT sneaker/shoes for many years for walking long distances. I liked the leg conditioning that it provided. MBT went out of business. I found other sneakers but must sacrifice that conditioning benefit. Since my husband has a torn cartilage is the knee and needs the plush cushioning he had to find an alternative for walking long distances without pain.

    My husband found and used the HOKA Valor style for many years. Recently HOKA stopped making the Valor model, and the other HOKA styles do not have the great plush cushioning that he needs.

    Now our quest for a new sunblock!
     
  13. bnoble

    bnoble TUG Member

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    It's a little "stickier" but I did not find it to be too difficult.
     

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