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State To Regulate "Microbeads"

Mon, 19 May 2014 11:00:11 CDT
By: IPR's Amanda Vinicky

Illinois is poised to be one of ... if not THE first ... states to regulate so-called "microbeads." IPR's Amanda Vinicky has the story:

Microbeads are tiny, -- think the point of a ballpoint pen. But they're causing a big fuss.
"We're finding them in sediments, in the Great Lakes."
That's Jennifer Walling, director of the Illinois Environmental Council.
"Fish assume that these are eggs, and they eat them. The plastic beads can also take in toxins from the environment, and so they're toxic in addition to being another sort of plastic pollution that's in our Great Lakes."
Environmentalists all over are trying to ban microbeads from personal care products. But Walling says so far, Illinois is having the most success in reaching an agreement with industry. Under a measure before the Illinois House, Illinois stores would be banned starting in 2019 from selling facial washes and other products with microbeads.
Toothpastes and acne-body washes containing the synthetic balls would get an extra year on the shelves.

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