State bill would ban soap beads tied to Lake Erie pollution

Several beaches in Ohio along Lake Erie have advisories because of bacteria.
Lake Erie. Courtesy: ODNR

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – A bill banning the manufacture and sale of microscopic exfoliating beads used in personal care products has been introduced in Columbus.

State Reps. John Patterson and Kent Smith, both Democrats, said in unveiling the measure earlier this month that banning tiny plastic microbeads would help protect Lake Erie, part of the largest freshwater ecosystem in the world.

Such a ban would affect particles about the size of fish eggs that are present in soap, toothpaste, body washes and other products. They are too fine to be caught in wastewater treatment plants so can pollute lakes and rivers and be swallowed by fish and other aquatic life.

The National Conference of State Legislatures says 10 states have banned the particles since last year.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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