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Sen. Gillibrand Pushes Legislation to Rinse Products Clean of Plastic Microbeads


Posted: October 28, 2014
Originally Published: October 28, 2014

OSWEGO, N.Y. -- Microbeads -- they are found in face scrubs, body washes and toothpaste and now Senator Kirsten Gillibrand wants to prevent them from showing up in large bodies of water.

Environmental groups say plastic microbeads are a serious threat to the ecosystem when washed down the drain.

Gillibrand was in Oswego Monday pushing legislation to rinse products clean of this potential hazard.

The products are designed to be rinsed down the drain, but the beads are too small to be caught by waste water treatment plants. The beads then concentrate toxins that can be ingested by birds and fish. A recent report has identified 1.1 million particles per square kilometer in Lake Ontario.

Gillibrand says it has a devastating effect throughout the region.

"It's really important for our food supply, for recreational fishermen, for commercial fishermen, and for the health and well being of our water bodies to get these contaminants out of them," said Gillibrand.

Citizens Campaign for the Environment says there are other bio-degradable options that can be used. Other states have already introduced similar bans.

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