Sunscreen ban issue heads to House floor

Florida Senate passed identical bill sponsored by Fleming Island senator

Lotions And Creams. (iStock / swk75)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After the full Senate passed the issue Wednesday, a proposal that would block local governments from regulating over-the-counter drugs and cosmetics is headed to the House floor.

The House Health & Human Services Committee voted 10-6 on Thursday to approve the House version (HB 113), sponsored by Rep. Spencer Roach, R-North Fort Myers.

The Senate voted 25-14 to pass an identical bill (SB 172), sponsored by Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island.

The issue stems from a decision by Key West to ban the sale of certain sunscreens that contain the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate.

Studies have shown the chemicals can be harmful to coral reefs, which are essential to Key West’s tourism-driven economy.

But the “preemption” bills would prohibit local governments from approving such bans, with bill supporters arguing that the state should encourage the use of sunscreens to prevent skin cancer.