FLORIDA—A new Care2 petition is calling on Florida Governor Rick Scott and the Florida legislature to act quickly to protect the state’s coral reefs by banning sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate. The Care2 petition has gathered over 7,000 signatures. The Care2 petition targeting Florida was launched after Hawaii became the first state to ban sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate, chemicals that have been deemed harmful to the coral reef. Hawaii Governor David Ige signed the bill on July 3.
“Florida should join Hawaii and ban these environmentally toxic chemicals,” reads the Care2 petition. “It’s an easy fix, and one more way to help ensure that our coral reefs will be here for a long time to come.”
Florida has the third largest coral reef in the world and the only coral reef in the continental United States.
Chemicals Can Kill Coral
According to research, chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate can cause bleaching in coral which if prolonged can lead to death.
Research also points to these chemicals being harmful for humans as well. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, oxybenzone is detected in 96 percent of the American population and can cause hormone disruption in children and adults.
“By ignoring the facts, they are putting a bullseye on one of their most important tourist draws and slowly, over time the huge Florida Reef could sicken and die,” the Care2 petition points out.