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States Move To Ban Personal Products That Contain Micro Plastics

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States around the country are looking to legislate bans against popular soaps, facial scrubs and even toothpaste that contain micro beads. bottles Commonly found in popular personal health care products, tiny plastic particles known as micro beads have triggered concerns over water contamination. Illinois moved one step closer to becoming the first state to enact a micro bead ban. The state Senate unanimously approved legislation that would end the production and manufacture of micro beads by 2017, with a state-wide ban on selling products containing micro beads by 2018. Additional states like California, Minnesota, New York and Ohio are also considering legislation to ban micro beads from store shelves.  The plastic pellets, which are not biodegradable, are so small they slip through sewer and water treatment filters and end up in the water supply, where environmental advocates say they can absorb toxins and harm fish and other wildlife.  Tests have already shown the presence of micro beads in the Great Lakes, the Los Angeles River and waterways in the New York City region.  “Micro beads and microp lastics can have a significant effect on wildlife,” Aislinn Gauchay, manager of the Shedd Aquarium’s Great Lakes and Sustainability programs, told CBS Chicago.  The Santa Monica-based 5 Gyres Institute, which studies marine plastic debris and advocates for micro bead bans, analyzed different facial cleansers and found a single container can contain more than 300,000 micro beads.

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