House poised to vote on bill banning microbeads in soap

House poised to vote on bill banning microbeads in soap
© Greg Nash

The House is poised to vote this afternoon on legislation to ban plastic microbreads in soaps, body washes and other bath products.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the environmentally conscious bill last month introduced by Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) in an effort to protect the nation’s lakes and streams from piling up with the little pieces of plastic.


Because the beads, which are often used to exfoliate the skin, are less than five millimeters in size, they escape water filtration systems and end up in bodies of water, where they are mistaken as food by fish and wildlife.

In passing the legislation last month, the House committee approved a technical amendment to clarify that toothpaste is considered a rinse-off cosmetic that’s covered under the bill, which has 36 co-sponsors, including five Republicans.

A companion bill has also been introduced in the Senate by Sens. Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowPoll: Dem Stabenow has 9-point lead over Republican James in Michigan Senate race Trump Jr., Kid Rock to campaign for GOP Michigan Senate candidate John James Trump signs bills banning drug pricing 'gag clauses' MORE (D-Mich.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.), who are concerned about protecting the nation’s Great Lakes.

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