Mote Marine works on Restoration of Florida’s Coastal Reef. Attibution: Sarah Hamlyn, Mote Marine Laboratory.

Sunscreen banned to protect coral reefs.

The City of Key West did attempt to ban the sale of popular sunscreens within city limits if they contain oxybenzone or octinoxate.  It was attempted to help protect the only living coral reef that exists in North America. Read the full article by Matthew S. Schwartz.

However the attempt to ban was prohibited by Florida State in 2020, the Governor citing the skin cancer concerns of visitors being a more pressing issue.

The FDA has recently removed most chemical sunscreens from its list of “safe and effective” products pending health studies. The FDA continues to designate mineral-based sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as “safe and effective.” Read the full article by Laura Cassels.

With skin cancer on the rise, cutting sun exposure is on the minds of many people who spend their leisure time on the water. We have long advocated cutting exposure using clothing and head gear is a more reliable method of preventing cancer than sunscreen alone. Most captains won’t allow spray sunscreen on their boats. Fly fishermen to keep sunscreen away from their fly line. Sunscreen stains most fabrics.

Fabric with sun protection of UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) of 40 or 50 is recommended by the American Cancer Society to protect skin all day from UVA and UVB exposure. And unlike sunscreen – it does not have to be reapplied.

Many people have asked if you can swim in Rattlin Jack© Sun Protection Shirts. The answer is yes, however, our shirts are not swim shirts.

Swim shirts, on the other hand are closely fitted with Lycra ® or some other brand of elastic to keep the shirt close, so that arms and body do not fill up with water. The sun’s ultraviolet radiation breaks down the elastic in the fabric, and most have to be replaced every year depending on how often used. A cotton shirt when wet might have a Ultraviolet Protection Factor of as low as 3! Therefore a fabric with a UPF rating of 40 to 50 is a must for a long day on or in the water. See more information in this article published by

Everyone is in agreement that Sun Protection is a concern for the active person, because exposure to the sun’s damaging rays contribute to skin cancers and premature aging.  At the same time, many are concerned with the effects of chemicals on the reefs. Much work is being done by both and Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. Click to see more information!