Statement from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) and the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) Regarding Sunscreen Ingredient Ban



Mike Tringale, 202.429.3520,
Lisa Powers, 202.466.0489,

“The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) and Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) are disappointed with the action taken by the Key West City Commission to ban certain sunscreen ingredients found in numerous sunscreens, cosmetics, shampoos, lip balms, and other health and personal care products. While we respect the emotion around coral reef decline, the ban represents a bad policy that is not based on scientific evidence. This ban is unlikely to have a positive effect on Florida’s coral but it will have a profound negative impact on the health and wellbeing of residents and visitors in Key West.

“Oxybenzone and octinoxate contribute to broad-spectrum protection from the effects of both UVA and UVB rays. UVA and UVB rays contribute to skin damage, skin aging, and melanoma, the leading cause of skin cancer-related deaths. Manufacturers, health professionals, and many others are opposed to a ban on these ingredients which provide critical defense against excess ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure. Banning these ingredients will drastically – and unnecessarily – reduce the selection of safe and effective sunscreens and other products available to residents and visitors in Key West.

“There is no definitive scientific evidence that products containing oxybenzone or octinoxate damage coral in natural environments like Key West, nor any evidence that banning these ingredients improves the plight of coral. The ingredient ban in Key West ignores the real causes of coral decline according to scientists in Florida and from around the world: global warming, agricultural runoff, sewage, and overfishing. Public policy that will likely adversely impact public health should not be based on a limited number of exploratory lab-based studies alone.

“Oxybenzone and octinoxate, found in the majority of sunscreens in the U.S., are safe and effective over-the-counter (OTC) active ingredients recognized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an important aide in decreasing the risk of developing skin cancer – the most common cancer in the U.S.”


The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is the 138-year-old national trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and dietary supplements. Every dollar spent by consumers on OTC medicines saves the U.S. healthcare system $6-$7, contributing a total of $102 billion in savings each year. CHPA is committed to empowering self-care by preserving and expanding choice and availability of consumer healthcare products.

Based in Washington, D.C., the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) is the leading national trade association representing global cosmetics and personal care products companies. Founded in 1894, PCPC’s approximately 600 member companies manufacture, distribute and supply the vast majority of finished personal care products marketed in the U.S. As the makers of a diverse range of products millions of consumers rely on and trust every day – from sunscreens, toothpaste and shampoo to moisturizer, lipstick and fragrance – personal care products companies are global leaders committed to product safety, quality and innovation.

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