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Illinois Bans the Microbead

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You know those tiny little beads that are often found in facial scrubs, body soaps, and toothbrushes? Those microbeads are so tiny that they often slip through filtration systems, which means they enter the water supply. That’s bad news for consumers and bad news for the environment. The good news, however, is that the state of Illinois has banned microbeads, which will hopefully inspire other states to do the same.

Governor Quinn (D) signed into law on Sunday a ban on the sale and manufacture of products containing microbeads.

“Banning microbeads will help ensure clean waters across Illinois and set an example for our nation to follow,” Quinn said in a statement Sunday. “Lake Michigan and the many rivers and lakes across our state are among our most important natural resources. We must do everything necessary to safeguard them.”

Some facial cleaners contain as many as 300,000 microbeads per container. These beads can end up in the water supply and poison some wildlife. A few other states are considering bans of their own, and some big companies (Unilever, Johnson & Johnson) are currently working on swapping out their microbeads for a more natural alternative, like ground nuts and seeds.

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

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