Maui County to only allow mineral sunscreens, effective October 2022

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MAUI (KHON2) — Maui County has banned the sale, distribution and/or use of non-mineral sunscreen, set to take effect on Oct. 1, 2022. This means only mineral sunscreens that use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide will be allowed.

On Dec. 6, Maui Mayor Michael Victorino signed Bill 135 into law, which was then enacted as Maui County Ordinance 5306.

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According to officials, Ordinance 5306 recognizes that many chemicals in non-mineral sunscreens have been shown to threaten the health of coastal waters, coral reefs and other marine species.

Mayor Victorino thanked the Maui County Council for passing this “important piece of legislation.” He also thanked Councilmember Kelly King, chair of the Council’s Climate Action, Resilience and Environment Committee, for introducing Bill 135.

King said that Ordinance 5306 is one part of the larger goal to move Hawaii’s tourism industry to become more ecologically sustainable and less harmful to the islands’ biodiversity.

“There is a growing movement of skincare and beauty product companies that are looking to make a positive impact on the planet. This new law supports that movement toward conscious consumption by removing harmful products from the local market and encouraging consumers to choose truly reef-safe mineral sunscreens.”

Councilmember Kelly King, chair of the Council’s Climate Action, Resilience and Environment Committee

There are 16 active ingredients that are being used as UV filters in sunscreen products. Non-mineral sunscreens — also, chemical sunscreens — use chemicals like octinoxate, octocrylene and oxybenzone. Mineral sunscreens use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

Out of the 16 ingredients, officials reported that only zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are “generally recognized as safe and effective (GRASE) by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).”

In January 2021, the state also banned all sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate.

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