Microbeads banned with president’s approval

Dec. 29, 2015

The manufacture of microbead-containing personal care products must cease effective July 1, 2017.

WASHINGTON — Dec. 28, 2015 — President Obama signed into law the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015, banning the manufacture and sale of personal care products that contain microbeads, according to a press release.

Microbeads are small, plastic bits commonly used in personal care products such as face wash and toothpaste as exfoliants, noted the release. The materials often end up in waterways because they can slip through water treatment systems after being washed down household drains.

The law will go into effect banning the manufacture of microbeads July 1, 2017, stated the release.

The Detroit News reported that bans on the sales of personal care products and over-the-counter drugs containing microbeads will begin July 2018.

Congressmen Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) and Fred Upton (R-MI) introduced the bill, shared the release.

"The President’s signature on this legislation is a major victory for U.S. waterways and the environment," said Pallone in the release. "Without the ban, an estimated eight trillion plastic microbeads pollute U.S. waterways each day, threatening the environment and ultimately our health."

Microbeads have increasingly shown up in U.S. waterways, including the Great Lakes, the world’s largest freshwater source, reported the release. Fish can pass on microbead chemicals to humans and other wildlife if they consume them.

You can find the entire release here.