Mineral-based sunscreen ordinance goes into effect October 1
Maui County seeks to protect marine ecosystems with new law
The County of Maui’s Environmental Protection and Sustainability Division (EP&S) is working with businesses and suppliers to help ensure a smooth transition to mineral-based sunscreen products that are safer for the environment.
Under the new ordinance that goes into effect on October 1, 2022, only mineral sunscreens based on active ingredients zinc oxide and titanium dioxide will be allowed for sale, distribution or use without a prescription. Research continues to show the negative impacts to marine life including reduced fish reproduction as well as coral bleaching and DNA damage. Most recently, a community-based, scientific paper, published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials, also concluded that beach shower runoff throughout Hawaii contains high concentrations of sunscreen chemicals that can pose a threat to marine ecosystems.
“This is another important step toward protecting our ocean and near-shore ecosystems,” said Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino. “It’s a change, but it’s a change for the better. Mahalo to both our residents and visitors for supporting the elimination of non-mineral sunscreens for the good of our environmental health.”
The EP&S Division has been contacting retailers to gauge their readiness and offer education and support during the transition to mineral-only sunscreen products. Many businesses with close ties to the ocean environment have already made the switch. Maui County has joined community partners Maui Ocean Center, Retail Merchants of Hawaii, Maui Distributors, Inc., the Activities & Attractions Association of Hawaii, the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association, and the Maui Chamber of Commerce and others to spread the word, raise awareness and offer resources to Maui County businesses.
EP&S will continue to assist companies affected by the ordinance so that mineral-based products are available to residents and visitors alike. For more information on the Mineral Only Sunscreen Ordinance 5306, please visit: http://www.mauicounty.gov/sunscreen