States Target Tiny Beads in Cleansers That Harm Waterways, Wildlife

"CHICAGO — The tiny plastic particles found in many facial cleansers and soaps promise a gentle scrubbing and luxuriously smooth skin. But those little beads of grit are also piling up in waterways, where they can suck up toxins and harm wildlife, environmentalists say. Because of those concerns, Illinois is one of several states considering legislation to force manufacturers to drop products that use the particles, called microbeads.

A measure advancing through the General Assembly in Springfield this spring would phase out the sale of microbeads by the end of 2018. Major soap manufacturers, some of which already have plans to stop using microbeads, support the legislation. An environmental group working to reduce plastic pollution says, however, that the state's timetable is too lax."

Michelle Manchir and Taylor Goldenstein repor for the Chicago Tribune April 20, 2014.

Source: Chicago Tribune, 04/21/2014