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Octocrylene Now? Sunscreen Industry Under Growing Pressure As Environmental Concerns Mount

Executive Summary

Lawmakers already are taking action to ban sales of oxybenzone- and octinoxate-containing sunscreens due to signals, however inconclusive, that the ingredients pose dangers to coral health. Now a new study suggests that octocrylene could be a concern as well.

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Hawaii Puts Hold On Proposal To Blacklist Additional Sunscreen Ingredients

Proposed bills in the Aloha State would ban the sale of sunscreens containing octocrylene and/or avobenzone, adding to a UV filter blacklist that already includes oxybenzone and octinoxate. On 17 February, Hawaiian legislators elected to defer the legislation to await completion of a National Academy of Sciences study, targeted for 2022.

CVS Reformulating Own-Brand Sunscreens Without Alleged Coral Killers

“CVS Pharmacy is highly attuned to our customers’ evolving needs and their desire for products that are more sustainable while still being efficacious,” says CVS Health’s George Coleman, senior vice president of merchandising. The retailer is committed to eliminating oxybenzone and octinoxate from CVS-branded sunscreens with SPFs less than 50 by the end of 2020.

Key West Bans Purported Coral-Killing Sunscreens, With Florida-Wide Proposal Now On The Table

The City Commission voted 6-1 at its Feb. 5 meeting to prohibit the sale of sunscreens formulated with oxybenzone and/or octinoxate beginning Jan. 1, 2021. That same day, Florida state Senator Linda Stewart proposed similar legislation that would push the effective date up to July 1, 2019, also citing the ingredients’ suspected role in coral declines.

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