Statement from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association(CHPA)Regarding Hawaii Sunscreen

“Today the health, safety and welfare of millions of Hawaii residents and tourists has been severely compromised by the passage of SB 2571 that will ban at least 70 percent of the sunscreens on the market today, based on weak science blaming sunscreens for damage to coral reefs. This irresponsible action will make it more difficult for families to protect themselves against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, and it is contrary to the many concerns expressed by Hawaii’s medical doctors, dermatologists, and public health experts.”


 “Overwhelming scientific evidence shows that excess sun exposure without effective sunscreen increases the risk of developing skin cancer in both adults and children. Banning oxybenzone and octinoxate – key ingredients in effective sunscreens on the market – will drastically and unnecessarily reduce the selection of safe and effective sunscreen products available to residents and visitors. Oxybenzone and octinoxate, found in the majority of sunscreens, are safe and effective over-the-counter (OTC) active ingredients recognized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as important aides in decreasing the risk of developing skin cancer, the most common cancer in the U.S.”

“This ban also avoids the real causes of coral decline according to scientists in Hawaii and around the world: global warming, agricultural runoff, sewage, and overfishing. This ban creates false hope that banning sunscreen will restore the health of coral reef around the Hawaiian Islands, but it will have little to no positive impact on the health of coral reefs. Rather, it has the potential to create a public health crisis which is why the Hawaii Medical Association, Hawaii Dermatological Society, Hawaii Skin Cancer Coalition, and Hawaii Department of Health have also expressed concerns with this legislation.”

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The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is the 137-year-old national trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and dietary supplements. Every dollar spent by consumers on OTC medicines saves the U.S. healthcare system $6-$7, contributing a total of $102 billion in savings each year. CHPA is committed to empowering self-care by preserving and expanding choice and availability of consumer healthcare products. chpa.org


Contact: Mike Tringale (MTringale@chpa.org)

202.429.3520