Key West moves to ban sunscreens that could damage reefs

KEY WEST, Fla. — Officials in Key West have taken the initial steps toward banning the sale of sunscreens containing two ingredients that could be harmful to coral reefs.

The Miami Herald reported that the Key West City Commission approved the measure unanimously Tuesday night. Commissioners must pass it again on Feb. 5 before it can become law.

It would ban products containing oxybenzone and octinoxate. Some studies have shown that the chemicals encourage coral bleaching.


Nearly 100 people turned out for the discussion, with 50 signing up to speak. They included dermatologists, boat captains, and students.

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Last year, Hawaii banned the sale or distribution of sunscreens containing the ingredients beginning in 2021.

associated press