Bill would ban microbeads from soaps and body washes

Bill would ban microbeads from soaps and body washes
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Senate Democrats have introduced legislation to protect the Great Lakes from the small plastic microbeads used in body washes, soaps and other personal care products to exfoliate the skin.

Sens. Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowSenators target 'gag clauses' that hide potential savings on prescriptions Nonprofit leaders look to continue work with lawmakers to strengthen charitable giving 10 Senate Democrats are up for reelection in Trump country MORE (D-Mich.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) unveiled the Microbeads Free Waters Act of 2015 on Tuesday, a bill to phase out the manufacturing and sale of microbeads found in household products.

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) introduced the bill earlier this month in the House. If passed, the legislation would amend the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to prohibit, starting Jan. 1, 2018, the distribution of a cosmetic that contains synthetic plastic microbeads.

In a news release Stabenow said these microbeads get through water treatment facilities and end up floating in the nation’s Great Lakes, where they build up as plastic pollution and are often mistaken by fish for food.

"Microbeads seem like a nice way to get extra ‘scrub' in your soap, but they pose a very real danger to our Great Lakes," the co-chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force said. "Researchers are finding these bits of plastic building up in our lakes, rivers and streams. When we see these kinds of things are threatening our Great Lakes and potentially threatening fish populations, we need to take swift action."

A report by the State University of New York in Fredonia found anywhere from 1,500 to 1.1 million microbeads per square mile in the Great Lakes, the world's largest source of freshwater.

Sens. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandCoalition presses Transportation Dept. for stricter oversight of driverless cars Do Dems need someone people like to beat Trump? Franchisers blitz Congress in search of liability shield MORE (D-N.Y.), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanMisinformation campaign is at the center of opposition to common sense sex trafficking legislation This week: Congress races to prevent third shutdown With bills on the table, Congress must heed the call to fix our national parks MORE (R-Ohio) and Mark KirkMark Steven KirkHigh stakes as Trump heads to Hill Five things to watch for at Trump-Senate GOP meeting Giffords, Scalise highlight party differences on guns MORE (R-Ill) are co-sponsoring the legislation.