Hawaii Approves Ban On Sunscreen Believed To Kill Coral Reefs | Article Review

It is generally agreed that the humanity should put a collective effort to preserve the environment. While many believe that this will take only some abstract actions like reducing the use of fossil fuels or plastic, the evidence shows that some actions that are more details are required. The important point to note that these simple actions may often lead to significantly better consequences than those which address the abstract aspects of the issue. The government of Hawaii prohibited the sale of sunscreens because it was found that one of the essential elements of it is harmful to the coral reefs.

On May 3, the government of Hawaii issued a ban that would prohibit the sale of all kinds of conventional sunscreen in the state. This law as inspired by the study which was carried out by Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology which concluded that some substances that are found in the majority of the popular sunscreens can have a negative impact on coral reefs by reducing the life of the polyps and limiting their ability to produce limestone. As a result, the polyps will no longer be able to contribute to the growth of the reefs and the latter will gradually vanish.

It is quite obvious that it is not the fact that sunscreen is sold in the state of Hawaii that needs to be addressed, but rather the way in which this substance is in use. The people put it on their body to protect themselves from potential sunburns and swim in the ocean. Given the fact that the sunscreen often has a specific substance added that prevents it from being washed away easily, it is clear that the more people swim, the more sunscreen is added to the ocean. In spite of the fact that the prohibition of selling sunscreen in Hawaii will not prevent people from buying it elsewhere, this might be the first step in protecting the coral reefs.

Speaking of the mechanism that explains the negative impact of sunscreen on the reefs, the study which was mentioned above puts emphasis on one of its major ingredients – oxybenzone. The latter is a substance that is not harmful to the humans, but is extremely harmful to the polyps. If the latter is exposed to it, they no longer can produce limestone which is the building block of the reefs. As a result, each new generation leaves less limestone if compared to the generation before. If one believes that the amount of oxybenzone that the polyps are exposed to is minimal, one should carefully consider the findings of the study. The latter found that on an average year, the tourist brings as much as 14,000 tons of sunscreen into the water. Given this number, it becomes obvious that the polyps are exposed to extreme concentrations of this substance over a year. Since it is so harmful to them, there is no wonder that reefs will be heavily damaged which resulted in the need to pass the kind of legislation which was mentioned above.

Another point that needs to be mentioned in this regard is that the preservation of coral reefs is something that takes a lot of strategic thinking. It takes a considerable period of time for the polyps to create a new part that is added to the riff; therefore, it is crucial to start protecting the polyps today so that in the future they could contribute to the formation of the reefs. From this perspective, the law which was passed by the government of Hawaii seems to be effective in the long-term perspective.

In spite of the fact that most would agree that the environment, especially such delicate ecosystems like coral reefs, must be protected at all costs, the producers of sunscreen opposed the law. They insisted that the amount of oxybenzone that ends up in the ocean is extremely small. Moreover, they disputed the findings of the study, pointing out that the research was not carried out in accordance with the scientific principles or validity and reliability. Furthermore, they insisted that the law is not able to protect the environment because people will still bring sunscreen with them. That is why it is important to acknowledge that there has been some strong opposition to the law.

Nevertheless, the government of Hawaii offered an opportunity for the people to avoid sunburns and still protect the environment. The sale of natural sunscreens that use substances other than oxybenzone was not prohibited. In other words, there are various options for the people to come to Hawaii and would to protect their bodies from the sun. All this leads to the understanding that the law in question was equally beneficial for the coral reefs and the people since both were able to avoid exposure to the negative substances.

Having examined all the points that were mentioned in the paragraphs above, it is important to state that the proposed law is likely to have a significant positive impact on the local environment, particularly coral reefs. In spite of the fact that the first positive changes will not be visible in the near future, it is clear that the law will be greatly appreciated by the people as they will witness the restoration of the reefs. Therefore, it is advisable that the governments of other countries consider an opportunity introduce similar laws that would help them protect the environment from exposure to harmful substances.

References

Nace, T. (2018). Hawaii Approves Ban On Sunscreen Believed To Kill Coral Reefs. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2018/05/03/hawaii-approves-ban-on-sunscreen-believed-to-kill-coral-reefs/#6e541b482eb7

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

[Accessed: September 17, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016.

[Accessed: September 17, 2021]

freeessays.club (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
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[Accessed: September 17, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: September 17, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: September 17, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: September 17, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: September 17, 2021]
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