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Hawaii set to become the first US state to ban sunscreens harmful to corals and marine life
Come 2012 and you won't be able to step out on a sunny Hawaiian beach wearing your favourite brand of sunscreen.

Yeah, you read that right because Hawaii is all set to become the first US state to ban the sale of sunscreens as the toxic chemicals present in them are harming corals reefs and marine life.

In fact, on Tuesday, the bill that bans sunscreens containing two types of chemicals was passed by Hawaii state legislature and has now been sent to the governor's office for his signatures, if signed, the ban would commence from 2021 onwards.

According to scientists who have conducted extensive research, the two culprit chemicals that are harming ocean life around the world are oxybenzone and octinoxate. Research shows that these chemicals break down corals by draining them of nutrients thereby buckling the development of fish and marine life like algae and sea urchins.

As per findings of a study published in 2015 in the Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, a whopping 14,000 tons of sunscreen lotion ends up in coral reefs across the globe each year. Hawaii and US Virgin Islands which have one of the most visited beaches of the world were found to be having maximum concentration of these chemicals.

Furthermore, a study conducted in Hawaii last year by Haereticus Environmental Laboratory at the iconic Hanauma Bay, popular amongst snorkelers, found that nearly 2,600 average daily visitors left the ocean contaminated with almost 412 pounds of sunscreen lotion.

What is most worrying is that the toxic effects of sunscreen can occur in concentrations as low as 62 parts per trillion, almost equivalent to one drop of oxybenzone in six Olympic-sized swimming pools.

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