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Major US pharmacy chain to remove oxybenzone, octinoxate from its sunscreens
US pharmacy chain CVS Health has committed to removing oxybenzone and octinoxate from nearly 60 own-brand sunscreen products by the end of 2020.
The commitment, announced this month but first mentioned in an April corporate social responsibility report, comes ahead of regulatory deadlines in Hawaii and Key West, Florida. These will see the two ingredients banned from use in sunscreen from 2021, amid concerns that they are harming marine ecosystems.
However, the company said that some form of oxybenzone and octinoxate are still needed in CVS Health sunscreen with an SPF of 50 and above "to be most effective for customers who require this strength of protection". Therefore the company’s SPF 50+ sunscreens will be pulled from the Hawaii and Florida markets to comply with those regulations.
The move comes as part of the company’s broader chemicals management strategy, announced in 2017.
The two ingredients are organic in nature and aid in preventing UV rays in affecting the skin.
"We are committed to continuing to monitor the ingredients in the products we carry and to ensure our consumers have access to a wide range of free-from products that deliver quality and value while also meeting their lifestyle preferences," said George Coleman, the company’s senior vice president of merchandising.