On Monday, March 9th, the Florida House of Representatives will take up a bill to ban local coral reef protection ordinances that regulate the sale of certain chemical sunscreens. SB 172 would strip Key West of their ordinance and stop any other cities and counties from passing similar ordinances in the future. TAKE ACTION: Call your State Representative and ask them to vote NO on SB 172. Click here to find your Representative!
Key West’s ordinance bans the sale of sunscreens containing two chemicals, oxybenzone and octinoxate, that are known to impact the health of coral reefs. Similar laws have been implemented in Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Palau. Click here for information on how these chemicals impact reefs.
Worse still, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration is in the process of updating its regulations on sunscreens. In their proposed rule, the FDA found two sunscreens were NOT safe and effective, PABA and trolomine salicylate, the FDA found tow sunscreens that ARE SAFE AND EFFECTIVE – zinc oxide and titanium dioxide (mineral sunscreens, for the remaining twelve chemical sunscreens (including oxybenzone and oxtinoxate), the FDA does not have enough information to determine if they are safe or effective. These concerns over chemical sunscreens are because the FDA’s own research shows the chemicals are absorbed at high levels and remain in the bloodstream for a substantial period of time, even after a single day’s use. Without additional testing, the FDA cannot say what the impact is on human health, though some scientists have raised concerns about the chemicals as endocrine disruptors.