Two Harmful Sunscreen Chemicals Banned by New Hawaii Bill


Sunscreens containing two harmful petrochemicals, avobenzone and octocrylene, would be banned from sale in Hawai‘i under a bill passed today by the Hawai‘i Senate.

This bill follows a 2018 law banning oxybenzone and octinoxate sunscreens. Studies show that all four of these petrochemical sunscreens are toxic to human health, coral reefs and marine species.

Research has demonstrated that octocrylene can disrupt human hormones and have toxic impacts on a variety of aquatic organisms, including corals, fish and marine mammals. A soon-to-be published study shows that octocrylene degrades into benzophenone, a powerful carcinogen, reproductive disruptor and herbicide.

Avobenzone is also an endocrine disruptor and can reduce coral resilience against the high ocean temperatures that are killing corals worldwide through global warming.  (The Center for Biological Diversity has petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a national ban on all coral-killing chemicals in sunscreens.)

If enacted into law, the Senate bill (S.B. 132 SD2) would ban the sale of sunscreens containing octocrylene and avobenzone starting on Jan. 1, 2023.