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 StabenowCongress prepares to punt biggest political battles until after midterms Trump attacks Dems on farm bill Trump is wrong, Dems are fighting to save Medicare and Social Security 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 GillibrandTeen girls pen open letter supporting Kavanaugh accuser: We imagine you at that party and 'see ourselves' Poll: Most Massachusetts voters don't think Warren should run for president in 2020 The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — GOP again has momentum on Kavanaugh rollercoaster MORE (D-N.Y.), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanGraham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' Overnight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens Bipartisan group wants to lift Medicaid restriction on substance abuse treatment 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.