Republicans In Florida Want To Revoke Ban On Coral-damaging Sunscreens

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Republicans in Key West are seeking to revoke the ban on coral-damaging sunscreens by framing the issue as a matter of public health and fight with skin cancer

Written By Aanchal Nigam | Mumbai | Updated On:

The Florida Republican politicians are seeking to revoke the ban on coral-damaging sunscreens by framing the issue as a matter of public health. The city leaders of the resort town, Key West had voted earlier this year to ban the sale of creams which are harmful to the degrading coral reef, according to the scientists. However, the Republicans are now pursuing the legislation at the state level to overturn the ban. The mayor, Teri Johnston has reportedly said that it is a 'black and white issue'. The politicians are planning to use the same arguments which were used in Hawaii during a similar ban in 2018. However, it remained unsuccessful in the Aloha State. 

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The decline of the Great Florida Reef

The city leaders had believed that by voting for the ban, they are taking action against an escalating decline of the Great Florida Reef. The fragile coral band stretches for 360 miles from west of Florida to the Atlantic coast. The Florida Reef is also the only living coral barrier reef in the United States and also the third-largest in the world. The threat to the coral reefs has put the fragile habitats in the ocean ecosystems which sums up for 25 per cent of all the ocean life. The reef is constantly polluted due to overfishing, along with climate change. The sudden climate change on the planet has stressed the corals and leads to destruction. 

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Protecting coral reefs vs skin cancer

The Republicans are also backed by the dermatologists who cite the increasing rates of melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer in Florida. According to health officials, it is dangerous to ban the sunscreen sale which contains chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate which are essential for the filtration of ultraviolet rays. Reportedly, the state senator Rob Bradley said that Florida ranks the second top nation for the highest rate of new melanoma cases. The Key West ban is all set to take effect in January 2021 and would prohibit the leading brands of sunscreen from keeping the cream off the shelves in stores eliminating the 'first line of defense' against the battle of skin cancer.

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(With agency inputs)

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