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Posted on: September 28, 2022

Reminder: Mineral-based sunscreen ordinance set to go into effect Oct. 1

Effective Oct. 1, only mineral sunscreens based on active ingredients zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are allowed for sale, distribution or use without a prescription.

The law aims to protect Maui County’s unique reef habitats. Non-mineral sunscreen chemicals are a known pollutant that puts reefs and marine habitats at increased risk and leaves them more vulnerable to climate change impacts.

Over the past several months, the County of Maui’s Environmental Protection and Sustainability Division has been working with businesses and suppliers to help ensure a smooth transition to offering only mineral-based sunscreen products that are safer for the environment. Many businesses with close ties to the ocean environment have already made the switch.

To stay sun safe, especially with Hawaii’s high exposure to ultraviolet radiation, it is recommended that when people are outdoors they cover up with sun protective clothing, seek shade and avoid peak sun exposure times.

Also, because the terms “reef friendly” and “reef safe” are not regulated, consumers are advised to check labels on sunscreen products to see if its list of active ingredients includes zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, natural mineral ingredients. It’s also best to use a mineral-based lotion or stick that you rub onto your skin rather than a spray that can easily land on the sand and wash into the ocean.

For more information about the Mineral Only Sunscreen Ordinance 5306, visit http://www.mauicounty.gov/sunscreen

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