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Key West bans sale of sunscreens that hurt coral reefs in the Florida Keys

Posted: 7:50 AM, Feb 06, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-07 10:06:31Z
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KEY WEST, Fla. — (NBC) - One of the world's sunniest spots is taking a stand on two sunscreen chemicals that scientists say are hurting the coral reef ecosystem in the Florida Keys.

On Tuesday night, the Key West City Commission voted to ban the sale of sunscreens that contain the ingredients oxybenzone and octinoxate.

Researchers say the two chemicals cause bleaching, DNA damage and the death of the corals.

The ban goes into effect in 2021.

The ban represents an effort to protect the only living coral reef in North America.

Last year, Hawaii became the first state in the country to ban over-the-counter sunscreens that contain the two chemicals.

Courtesy NBC News Channel