In Print

  • Some Sunscreen Harms Reefs—Warming Could Mean More of It

    Worry over environmental damage is being pitted against public health concerns
    Scientific American - August 15, 2018

    Climate change, in general, is a bad thing. But for sunscreen manufacturers, there’s opportunity in a warmer planet—though maybe not one that’s always environmentally friendly.

    Over the last several years, U.S. sunscreen sales have risen steadily, bolstered in part by skin cancer concerns. One industry estimate found that over-the-counter sun care sales had grown from roughly $1.16 billion in 2014 to nearly $1.23 billion in 2017. Other research published by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology noted a related increase in sunscreen unit sales from 2011 to 2016.

  • Will A Second State Move To Ban Chlorpyrifos?

    AGPRO - July 30, 2018

    On July 30, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation released its comprehensive risk assessment of chlorpyrifos. Per that document, a scientific panel has recommended chlorpyrifos be listed as a toxic air contaminant (TAC). Now, the state’s department has 10 working days to officially begin the process to list chlorpyrifos as a TAC.

    As defined in California, a TAC is “an air pollutant which may cause or contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in serious illness, or which may pose a present or potential hazard to human health.”

  • Mangoes on parade

    West Hawaii Today -July 22, 2018

    KAILUA-KONA — The 10th annual Mango Festival held Saturday at Hale Halawai was about more than just the mango or the dozens of varieties that grow throughout Hawaii.

    It was, for many at this weekend’s festival, a way to promote a way of eating that is both sustainable and supports local farmers.

    “You can act responsibly and sustainably to take care of the land, take care of yourself and, most of all, to be an example of what it is to live in paradise,” said Randyl Rupar, president of Sanctuary of Mana Ke‘a Gardens, the nonprofit that put on the event.

  • Best to ditch plastic straws

    Honolulu Star Advertiser - July 18, 2018

    The plastic straw is an easy target for environmental change. Because it’s largely unnecessary — and because of the need to cut waste that ends up in the ocean, of course — more than a dozen cities, including Seattle and several in California, have recently either banned it or are requiring eatery customers who want a straw to ask for it.

    Hawaii’s Legislature and was one of three that this year weighed straw measures. While legislation in California and New York is pending, it has stalled here. Still, the push should continue.

  • State grants hemp licenses

    The Garden Island - July 8, 2018

    HONOLULU — The Hawaii Department of Agriculture has issued the first licenses to growers under the state’s Industrial Hemp Pilot Program.

    In June, three industrial hemp licenses were issued to Raymond Maki of Kilauea, 10 acres, and Gail Baber and Thomas Pace, both of Hawaii Island, 10 acres each.

    Each license is valid for two years as long as the licensee complies with the program rules, including submission of annual fees of $250 plus a $2 per acre assessment. The time from planting to harvest is estimated to be anywhere from three to six months.

  • Hawaii to ban sunscreen that damages coral

    San Francisco Chronicle - July 7, 2018

    That long-awaited Hawaii vacation just got a little more complicated for Californians and other tropical holiday lovers who slather sunscreen on their pale skin between dips in the aqua blue water.

    The state of Hawaii will ban two chemicals commonly used in sunscreens starting in 2021, a move that will force visitors from more temperate climes like San Francisco to begin using products that don’t harm the environment.

  • Hawaii Sunscreen Ban – What You Need to Know!

    Maui Surfer Girls - June 21, 2018

    Hawaii lawmakers passed bill SB2571 in May, prohibiting the sale of over-the-counter sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are used in more than 3,500 of the world’s most popular sunscreen products. Research shows that these chemicals are a threat to coral reefs, marine life, and human health.

    This first-in-the-world bill is currently awaiting Governor Ige’s signature, and is set to take effect on January 1, 2021.

  • Hawaii bill bans sunscreen harmful to coral reefs

    The first state in the nation to take this initiative, Hawaii's new bill will ban the sale of reef-damaging sunscreen in 2021.
    Hawaii Magazine - July 3, 2018

    Governor David Ige has signed the long-awaited bill that will not allow sunscreen that is deemed toxic for coral reefs to be sold in the state of Hawaii. Senate Bill 2571, initially proposed by Senator Mike Gabbard, seeks to prohibit the sale of sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate, two chemicals that have been scientifically proven to induce coral bleaching, harm and even kill young coral larvae.

  • How to choose a reef-friendly sunscreen that also protects skin

    Honolulu Star Advertiser - July 1, 2018

    Our flight from Los Angeles was four hours late, and, as the lights of Honolulu came into view, my husband and I weren’t interested in the free mai tais, but did welcome something new.

    “Reef-friendly sunscreen?” asked the smiling flight attendant, handing out samples.

    “Reef safe,” Don read from the label. “Water-resistant 80 minutes — good idea!”

  • Hawaii Becomes The First State To Ban Sunscreens That Harm Coral Reefs

    “This bill is a small first step worldwide to really caring about our corals,” Gov. David Ige (D) said.
    HuffPost - July 4, 2018

    Hawaii just took a big step to safeguard the state’s stunning coral reefs.

    Gov. David Ige (D) signed a bill on Tuesday banning almost all sunscreens that contain certain chemicals that damage coral reefs and other marine ecosystems. The legislation, which state lawmakers passed in May, prohibits the sale and distribution of nonprescribed sunscreens that contain oxybenzone or octinoxate, which can be lethal for coral larvae.

  • Hawaii's state senator says sunscreen ban unlikely to put tourists off

    Newstalk ZB - July 4, 2018

    The man behind Hawaii's new sunscreen ban doubts it will put tourists off visiting the state.

    Hawaii state senator, Mike Gabbard has introduced a law banning many popular sunscreen products, containing chemicals that harm coral reefs.

    Gabbard told Tim Dower he is sure tourists will be willing to slip, slop, slap with mineral sunscreens instead.

    "Obviously, with tourism being our economic engine here, we are not saying 'hey tourist, we don't want you to come here anymore, don't wear your sunscreen' there's plenty of sunscreens that are out there now."

  • Here’s How Hawaii’s Sunscreen Ban Will Affect Your Favorite Brands

    Observer - July 3, 2018

    There are few better places to spend a holiday at in the middle of a scorching heat wave than a beach. And, as doctors and dermatologists tirelessly warn, it’s crucial to put on enough sunscreen before you go out. Stock up while you can, because new legislation in Hawaii may soon take your favorite sunscreen brands off store shelves.

    Today, Hawaii Governor David Ige is expected to sign a bill passed in May that bans skincare companies from selling sunscreens that contain two chemicals deemed harmful to coral reefs.

  • Hawaii is about to ban your favorite sunscreen to protect its coral reefs

    The Washington Post - July 2, 2018

    From Banana Boat to Coppertone, major sunscreen brands will soon have to revamp their products or stop selling them in Hawaii.

    State lawmakers passed legislation in May that would ban skin-care companies from selling and distributing sunscreens on the islands that contain two chemicals deemed damaging to coral reefs. The bill is opposed by various companies and business associations and even some dermatologists, who worry that the ban may discourage people from wearing sunscreen at all.

  • Proposed bans on plastic straws run into resistance in Hawaii and dozens of U.S. cities

    Honolulu Star Advertiser - July 1, 2018

    Hard on the heels of banning plastic bags, states and cities are being pressed by environmentalists to eliminate another consumer convenience — plastic straws. But objections from the plastics industry, restaurants and disability advocates have derailed or delayed some proposed straw bans.

    And experts say cutting down on single-use plastic may be more about changing habits than changing laws.

    Three states — California, Hawaii and New York — have considered plastic straw legislation in 2018. Hawaii’s died, and the other two are still pending.

  • Hawaii is first in U.S. to ban chlorpyrifos

    Honolulu Star Advertiser - June 14, 2018

    Hawaii became the first state in the country to ban pesticides containing chlorpyrifos, a chemical that has been linked to disruptions in the brain development of babies and young children, with Gov. David Ige signing the measure into law on Wednesday.

    The new law also achieves goals that local environmental groups have spent years fighting for, including a ban on pesticide spraying within 100 feet of schools during instructional hours and increased reporting requirements for restricted-use pesticides that are deployed in large quantities.

  • Is HECO ‘Dragging Anchor’ On Push To Renewable Energy?

    Some critics complain the utility isn’t moving fast enough to wean the state off fossil fuels, but HECO says it’s met every deadline.
    Honolulu Civil Beat - May 24, 2018

    When Hawaii utility regulators approved a program to let condo residents buy energy from off-site solar farms in December, it seemed a major part of the state’s population was poised to be able to reduce their electric bills and go green when it came to powering their homes.

    Hawaiian Electric Industries and its subsidiaries were supposed to submit a plan to fill in the details within 60 days. After that, it seemed, developers could start building small solar farms from which condo dwellers and renters could buy energy.

  • Hawaii's Sunscreen Ban Doesn't Hit Until 2021, but the Reason for It Is Scary

    Glamour - May 15, 2018

    Sunscreen is the best it's ever been. It's lightweight, fast-absorbing, beautifully fragranced, and at long last a pleasure to use. There's just one problem: Despite 2014's Sunscreen Innovation Act, the FDA hasn't OK'd any new sunscreen ingredients in 10 years. And now researchers are finding evidence that some commonly used chemicals pose a huge threat to our marine environments and may have unintended consequences on human health. This month Hawaii became the first place in the U.S.

  • The Fight To Save A Sacred Owl In West Oahu

    A nonprofit group based in Ewa Beach is concerned future development will destroy the habitat of the Hawaiian short-eared owl.
    Honolulu Civil Beat - May 14, 2018

    A plan by University of Hawaii officials to help bring an endangered owl back to the West Oahu campus is coming under fire from a group of Ewa Beach residents who say the plan falls far short of creating protected habitat for the sacred owl.

    Efforts to protect the pueo, the Hawaiian short-eared owl, also suffered a setback when the Legislature adjourned earlier this month without putting in place a hoped-for new study of the owl statewide and money for environmental rehabilitation at the West Oahu campus.