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 StabenowModerates need to hold firm against radical right on Farm Bill New Kid Rock film explores political divide Congress must work with, not against, tribal communities in crafting Farm Bill 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 GillibrandOvernight Defense: Defense spending bill amendments target hot-button issues | Space Force already facing hurdles | Senators voice 'deep' concerns at using military lawyers on immigration cases Senators 'deeply troubled' military lawyers being used for immigration cases Senate moving ahead with border bill, despite Trump MORE (D-N.Y.), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanSenate moving ahead with border bill, despite Trump 13 GOP senators ask administration to pause separation of immigrant families Lawmakers, businesses await guidance on tax law MORE (R-Ohio) and Mark KirkMark Steven KirkThis week: Trump heads to Capitol Hill Trump attending Senate GOP lunch Tuesday High stakes as Trump heads to Hill MORE (R-Ill) are co-sponsoring the legislation.