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Governor DeSantis of Florida Signs Sunscreen Bill

Washington, DC, July 7, 2020 – On June 29, 2020, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida signed Florida Senate Bill (SB) 172, which would overturn current and future bans and other actions related to the use of certain widely used sunscreen ingredients. These Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved ingredients can be some of the most effective ways to protect oneself from harmful UVA and UVB rays, which is key to preventing sunburn and potential skin cancer.

Skin cancer is one of the fastest growing cancers in the United States and can affect people of every age, gender, race or skin type. It is the most common form of cancer for young adults and the second most common cancer for adolescents. Melanoma is the deadliest form of the skin cancer with the majority occurring on the skin.

Broad spectrum sunscreens are very effective in protecting the skin from the sun but there are a limited number of sunscreen formulations of this type on the market in the Unites States. Since 2002, eight additional sunscreen ingredients have been submitted under the FDA’s Time and Extent Application (TEA) Process. The FDA has not made a final decision on a single sunscreen ingredient submitted through the TEA process, with some waiting for as long as 18 years. As stated in a letter to Governor DeSantis from the Public Access to SunScreens (PASS) Coalition, SB 172 addresses an ordinance in Key West, FL that would ban two commonly used sunscreen ingredients, octinoxate (octyl methoxycinnamate) and oxybenzone. Because of their effectiveness, these ingredients are used in many sunscreens and a ban could impact 70 percent of sunscreens currently on the market. According to the PASS Coalition, banning these ingredients without a suitable alternative would put Floridians and visitors to the state at significantly greater risk of developing melanoma and other forms of skin cancer.

For more information on this new bill, read the full letter from the PASS Coalition here.