Florida Preemption Bill Poised To Undo Key West Sunscreen Ban
Headed for its second reading in the Florida House after its counterpart passed the Senate on 29 January, HB 113 would expressly preempt local regulation of OTC drugs and cosmetics. According to House analysis documents, “This nullifies the current City of Key West ordinance” banning the sale of sunscreens containing reputed coral-killing UV filters.
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Florida's legislature does not reconvene until mid-January 2020, but interim committee meetings are in progress and a proposed bill to ban non-prescription sales of oxybenzone/octinoxate-containing sunscreens already has been filed for consideration in the next session.
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.
As in the case of plastic microbeads some four years ago, the personal-care industry finds itself in the position of having to reformulate potentially on a mass scale due to environmental rather than human safety concerns. And once again the legislation was driven in large part by shoddy science, industry says.