Key West Bans Sunscreen Containing Harmful Chemicals to Coral Reefs

The Key West City Commission voted to ban chemical sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate, which studies have shown can cause coral bleaching and even death. The popular tourist destination, home to the world’s third-largest barrier reef, isn’t the first to pass such legislation; Hawaii passed a similar law last year banning the same sunscreen chemicals. “Our coral has been under attack by a number of stressors,” Mayor Teri Johnston told The New York Times. “We just thought if there was one thing we could do, to take one of the stressors away, it was our responsibility to do so.” Key West’s legislation will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021.