NYS Assembly passes ban on microbeads

ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) – The NYS Assembly has voted to ban a man-made substance that could threaten the water supply.

Plastic particles called “microbeads,” which are prevalent in a number of beauty and cosmetic products, have been found in the waters of Lake Erie. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says the microbeads can persist in the environment for centuries and accumulate toxic chemicals that could enter the food chain if marine creatures ingest them.

The legislation, if approved by the NYS Senate and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, would ban microbeads from being used in products such as facial scrubs, soaps and toothpaste.

Three leading cosmetic companies — Proctor and Gamble, Unilever and Colgate-Palmolive — have already made commitments to phase out use of microbeads, which can be replaced by natural materials such as sea salt and ground pecan shells.

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