Key West bans harmful sunscreen

| 11/02/2019 | 10 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): Key West has introduced a ban on some types of sunscreen products that contain chemicals which studies have found can be damaging to coral and marine organisms. According to a press release from the mayor’s office, the Key West City Commission voted during a meeting last week to prohibit the sale or distribution of any sunscreens with oxybenzone and/or octinoxate. Research has indicated these chemicals can increase coral bleaching, cause mortality in developing coral as well as genetic damage to corals and other marine organisms.

“To me, it boils right down to the fact that there are thousands of sunscreens out there and we have one reef, and we have an opportunity to do one small thing to protect that,” said Key West Mayor Teri Johnston at the meeting. “I believe it’s our obligation.”

City officials are hoping that other parts of Florida will adopt a similar ban in a coordinated effort to protect the state’s precious coral resources. The ban comes into effect in 2021 to give the community time to prepare and be enforced through warnings and civil citations. Last year Hawaii became the first place to introduce a ban on these toxic sunscreens, which is also due to come into effect at the start of 2021.

Here in the Cayman Islands, the idea of banning these products has been talked about widely in the community but government has not responded to the calls for discussing that proposition. But Cayman, like every other destination with coral resources, is battling the same threats to its reefs from climate change, sea temperature rises, increasing coastal development, plastic pollution and over-fishing.

Sun screen toxins are another man-made problem that could be easily dealt with by introducing a ban on the importation of these sunscreens to Cayman and an awareness campaign to educate visitors.

Several local business here already stock safe sun products. Kirk’s Supermarket was the first store to get a green award from Auntie for the promotion of the safer products.

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Category: Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (10)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What do these chemicals do to the humans or do we not really matter any more

  2. Anonymous says:

    We will do the same, in 20 years, in response to our last reef dying.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I wrote a coment on this matter ten years ago in this same forum, when I observed very large oil slicks where hotel guests were swimming and snorkeling. As usual It fell on blind eyes and deaf ears.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m certain that spots like eden rock that see 1000’s and 1000’s of divers and snorkelers each year would be in much better condition if we did the same here.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Such is the mechanism of USA lobbies, that the FDA hasn’t approved a new sunscreen ingredient since the early 1980’s. More effective UVA+UVB filtering ingredients like Tinosorb, and Mexoryl, used in Europe and the rest of the world for over a decade, aren’t generally available in our grocers since we typically import products directly from USA.

    I know that “Be Well Pharmacy” in Galleria is bringing in some of the more innovative broad-spectrum products on sale in Canada and Europe. Moms, please post below any other places selling “good stuff” from elsewhere.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Just bulk buy in Miami and put it on in your room.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Seems like a no-brainer. Let’s do this to stop harming our reefs. Hawaii, Key West…Cayman could be next!

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  7. Anonymous says:

    We should ban leftardisim and see the world go on with all of it’s uninfected beauty.

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    • Anonymous says:

      “Where’s all the beautiful fish in the sea? It certainly has nothing to do with my lack of consideration for the environment they live in right? the corals? couldn’t possibly be me. *Applies sunscreen* ”

      I feel sorry for your thought process

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