Ban Sought on Microbeads in Beauty Items

John Schwartz, writing for the New York Times:

Lawmakers in Albany could make New York the first state to outlaw the tiny plastic beads used in personal care products like facial scrubs and toothpastes.

Legislation that is scheduled to be introduced on Tuesday by Assemblyman Robert K. Sweeney of Suffolk County on behalf of Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman would prohibit the sale of cosmetic and beauty products that contain the beads, which are added to aid exfoliation and abrasion.

The beads appear in the tens of millions in the Great Lakes, according to scientists’ estimates, with high concentrations along the New York shores of Lake Erie. They become coated with toxins like PCBs and can be eaten by fish and other marine life. Scientists suggest that those toxins could be working their way back up the food chain to humans.

People concerned for our environment must constantly fight to remove harmful or toxic products because manufactures to not have to first prove that there will be no harm.