The House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection today passed House Bill 600, introduced by Representative Nicole Lowen (District 6, Kailua-Kona, Holualoa), which would prohibit the sale of sunscreens containing the chemical oxybenzone.
The bill was introduced in response to recent studies that have concluded that oxybenzone disrupts coral development and growth.
“Our reefs are an essential economic driver of our tourism industry, they sustain our fish populations for fishermen, and are home to many species found nowhere else in the world. Safe, effective, and affordable alternatives to oxybenzone are available already. How can we, in good conscience, continue to needlessly allow the use of this chemical that we know causes damage to coral?” said Rep. Lowen.
The committee also moved a bill forward that would allow continued sale of oxybenzone products, but impose new labelling requirements. HB 600 will next go to the House Floor and then to the Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection.