Honolulu, HI, July 02, 2018 --(PR.com
)-- Governor David Ige will be signing SB2571 into law on July 3rd at Hanauma Bay, making Hawaii the first place in the world to ban the sale of sunscreens with Oxybenzone and Octinoxate, two chemicals founds to be harmful to coral reefs and marine life. This legislation is critical to protecting Hawaii’s reefs and natural resources, which attract an average of 9.3 million tourists a year and greatly benefit the economy. The bill will be signed at Hanauma Bay, a nature preserve on Oahu which receives over 3,000 visitors a day and an estimated 150,476 pounds of sunscreen going into the water each year. This historic piece of legislation will help protect coral reefs and marine life in Hawaii’s waters and beyond as news of these toxic chemicals spread.
However great this is, the bill will not take effect until January 1, 2021, leaving Hawaii’s reefs and marine life at risk until then. It’s crucial that people in the meantime use reef safe sunscreen because oxybenzone can cause coral to bleach at lower temperatures and damage DNA. Just one drop of oxybenzone in 6.5 olympic size swimming pools of water can kill coral larva and prevent new reefs from growing. Coral reefs are dying at alarming rates worldwide and using reef safe sunscreen is one easy thing we all can do to help them survive.
Big Island based mother-daughter filmmakers Lynn Pelletier and Malina Fagan were one of many who helped get this important issue to the attention of Hawaii State Legislators. Their short film, “Reefs At Risk
,” premiered at the Hawaii International Film Festival in 2017 and has been screened internationally, won awards at numerous festivals, received over 140K views online and is being played on all flights on Hawaiian Airlines, and in hotels throughout the state. They are looking to expand their outreach to educate more people about this issue in order to protect our precious remaining reefs.
They emphasize the importance of using sunscreens with non-nano zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide as the only active ingredients, as both these are shown to be coral safe. You can visit www.ReefsAtRisk.org to watch their short film and download their reef safe sunscreen guide.
Reefs At Risk Film:
Set on the beautiful beaches of Hawaii, "Reefs at Risk" explores the harmful effects some sunscreen chemicals have on coral reefs and marine life. This timely film takes viewers underwater to explore the beautiful marine environment and follows those on land trying to protect it. The film also questions the effects these chemicals have on humans and presents safer alternatives consumers can use to protect themselves and the reef. This issue is not just relevant to people living in coastal areas or visiting coral reefs; the use of these products inland can also pose harm to the environment by making their way through rivers and streams and out into the ocean.
Sunscreens and Coral Reefs:
Coral reefs are dying at an alarming rate. Why should you care? Coral reefs protect our shores and supply food and oxygen to our planet. They are considered the "rainforests of the sea" and home to 25% of marine life. Scientists estimate that 50% of the world’s coral reefs have been destroyed and others are in danger of disappearing in our lifetime. Although there are many factors contributing to the destruction of coral reefs worldwide, one we can easily eliminate is toxic chemicals in sunscreens. Research published by the Haereticus Environmental Lab has shown the UV chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate can cause skeletal deformities and death to coral larvae, damage DNA, reduce coral’s ability to reproduce, and cause coral to bleach at certain concentrations. With this knowledge, filmmakers Malina Fagan and Lynn Pelletier created a short 5-minute film to bring this issue to a wider audience and encourage the use of reef safe sunscreens and sun protective clothing.
About Fagan Films:
Started in 2014, Fagan Films is a Hawaii-based film production company lead by mother-daughter filmmakers Lynn Pelletier and Malina Fagan. Last year they received a grant from the Redford Center (located in Sundance, Utah) to produce "Reefs At Risk," which has been screened internationally and is on all intercontinental flights on Hawaiian Airlines. Fagan and Pelletier are currently working on a feature film called “THE COVERUP” about the toxic chemicals in cosmetics and personal care products and their effects on our health, the environment and future generations. To learn more and see a work-in-progress trailer visit www.thecoverupfilm.com.