Proposed bill aims to ban sunscreen to protect coral reefs in Hawaii

Hawaii could soon be the first place in the world to ban the sale of sunscreens believed to be harmful to coral reefs.

The state senate there passed the legislation on Wednesday.

RELATED: 5 facts about sunscreen you probably didn't know
EMBED More News Videos

Less than 15% of men and 30% of women use sunscreen regularly on their exposed skin when outside for more than an hour, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If signed by the governor, Senate Bill 2571 will ban the sale of over the counter sunscreen with oxybenzone and octinoxate.

The bill's author said the two chemicals have been shown to degrade the resiliency of coral and its ability to adjust to climate change factors and inhibit recruitment of new corals.

If signed into law, the new rules will go into effect Jan. 1, 2021.

Click here for more videos and stories about sunscreen.
Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.