US Virgin Islands passed sunscreen ban
The US Virgin Islands will be the first to ban certain sunscreens that threaten marine environments. The sunscreen ban kicks in fully next March with 'certain limitations beginning immediately' after a bill was signed this week.
It bans the importation, distribution and sale of sunscreens which contain oxybenzone, octinoxate and octocrylene, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says are 'not safe or effective.'
The ban starts before similar restrictions begin in Hawaii and Key West. Those forbid the use of oxybenzone and octinoxate in sunscreen products, but the USVI goes one step further by outlawing octocrylene as well. The bill was passed unanimously.
"Tourism in the Virgin Islands is our lifeblood—but to ensure we continue to entice visitors we need to protect our coral reefs as part of our quest to initiate sustainable tourism," said Gov. Albert Bryan. The US territory's retailers may not place new orders for sunscreens containing the banned chemicals and may not receive shipments of existing orders after September 30. The full ban takes effect in March 2020.