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Sunscreen Sanction: Palau Bans Chemicals to Save Reefs

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Palau is the first country in the world to ban ecologically harmful sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate. Studies have found the ingredients cause coral DNA to mutate in the larval stage, which prevents coral from growing properly and makes it more susceptible to bleaching. Palau, with a population of about 20,000 people spread across 340 islands between Australia and Japan, is a diving hotspot for tourists, and one of its lagoons has been named an official UNESCO World Heritage Site. President Tommy Remengesau says, “We have to live and respect the environment, because the environment is the nest of life.”
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