Microbead ban takes a step forward

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INDIANA (January 30, 2015) - The House Environmental Affairs Committee unanimously passed a bill Wednesday that would ban the sale of any personal care product containing microbeads by 2019.

The microbeads are actually small pieces of plastic used in many shampoos, soaps, lotions, exfoliants and toothpastes. Many environmentalists, however, say the particles are so small that they can easily be swallowed.

They are also difficult to filter out at water treatment plants, eventually making their way to lakes and rivers where they are ingested by fish and make their way through the food chain.

Microbeads have been a big point of discussion throughout the country, but especially in Great Lake states after several water systems were found to be contaminated with the tiny bits of plastic. Illinois and New York already have similar bans on microbeads in place.

House Bill 1185 received a 9-0 bipartisan vote in committee and now moves to the full House for consideration.