U.S. bans microbeads – hundreds of products, including skin care, affected

U.S. bans microbeads – hundreds of products, including skin care, affected
(Image: 5gyres/Oregon State University via CNN)

For one of his last acts in 2015, Barack Obama signed a bill that bans what advocates say is an environmentally harmful ingredient included in many personal cleansing products and cosmetics. …

Congress passed the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015, a bipartisan bill that President Obama signed it into law on December 28. The law puts a ban on an ingredient used in the cosmetics and personal care products industry called “microbeads.” These beads are contained in many bodywashes, toothpastes and soaps and supposedly serve as skin exfoliants.

Activists say [microbeads] never breakdown as they wash down the drain and the devices end up polluting our waterways.

Scientists say the tiny beads, usually of less than 5 millimeters in size, flow through our sewer systems but are so small that they aren’t screened out and collected before being dumped into our water ways. Once in our lakes, streams and rivers, scientists say these microbeads get eaten by fish and animals. But since the beads cannot be digested it often ends up killing them. …

Consumers can find out which products likely use the tiny devices by visiting the International Campaign Against Microbeads in Cosmetics website to check out their list of products that likely contain microbeads.

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