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Palau Will Be The First Nation To Ban 'Reef-Toxic' Sunscreens

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Palau Will Be The First Nation To Ban 'Reef-Toxic' Sunscreens
Palau's president signed the ban on "reef-toxic" sunscreens into law last week.
SHOW TRANSCRIPT

The Pacific nation of Palau is set to become the first country to ban certain types of sunscreen in order to protect its coral reefs.

Palau's president signed the ban on "reef-toxic" sunscreens into law last week. Starting in 2020, sunscreens that contain any one of 10 reef-harming chemicals won't be allowed on the nation's islands. 

Any tourists who bring banned sunscreens into the country will have it confiscated, and merchants caught selling the products will face a fine.

When people go swimming, some of the sunscreen they've lathered on washes off. As Newsy previously reported, a scientific paper published in 2015 estimated as much as 14,000 tons of sunscreen gets released into coral reefs each year this way. 

Palau's move comes just a few months after Hawaii's governor signed the U.S.'s first ban on sunscreens that are toxic to coral reefs.