Tags: microbead | ban | illinois | rivers

Microbead Ban: Illinois Outlaws Scrubbing Agents in Soaps, Bath Products

By    |   Tuesday, 10 Jun 2014 07:02 AM

Microbeads added to soaps and other bath products as scrubbing agents have been banned in Illinois after it was discovered that they often escape into rivers and lakes.

Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation Sunday that bans the manufacture of such products by the end of 2018 and the sale of them by the end of 2019, NBC reported via The Associated Press.

"Banning microbeads will help ensure clean waters across Illinois and set an example for our nation to follow," he said in a statement. "Lake Michigan and the many rivers and lakes across our state are among our most important natural resources. We must do everything necessary to safeguard them."

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Environmentalists say the plastic microbeads often make their way out of water treatment facilities and can be found in the millions across Lake Michigan. There, they absorb toxic substances and harm fish and other aquatic animals.

Large-scale manufacturers of the products have in some cases opposed the consideration of such bans, while others have said they're already working on alternatives, like salt or sugar crystals.

The Alliance for the Great Lakes advised those who wish to avoid the beads voluntarily look for polyethylene and polypropylene in the ingredient list, and steer clear.

"I’m optimistic that we’ve started a nationwide movement to protect not just the Great Lakes, but other bodies of water with high concentrations of microbeads," said one of the bill's co-sponsors, State Senator Heather Steans, The Chicago Tribune reported.

At least four other states, including New York and California, are considering similar bans.

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Microbeads added to soaps and other bath products as scrubbing agents have been banned in Illinois after it was discovered that they often escape into rivers and lakes.
microbead, ban, illinois, rivers
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2014-02-10
Tuesday, 10 Jun 2014 07:02 AM
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