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HONOLULU — The House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection on Tuesday passed a bill that would prohibit the sale of sunscreens containing the chemical oxybenzone.
House Bill 600 was introduced by Rep. Nicole Lowen (District 6, Kailua-Kona, Holualoa), who said she did so 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,” Lowen said. “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?”
HB600 would make the sale of products containing the chemical a petty misdemeanor.