— A bill banning a key exfoliation ingredient in popular
cosmetic products passed through an Indiana House committee
Wednesday, adding to an effort gaining momentum in other
states to protect the Great Lakes.
of plastic known as microbeads are typically found in facial
scrubs and toothpaste. Scientists only recently discovered
that the particles, which are often too small to see with
the naked eye, are flowing by the billions from wastewater
treatment plants into the Great Lakes and other water
currently make up about 20 percent of plastic pollution in
the Great Lakes.
the bill would gradually phase out the sale and production
of cosmetics containing microbeads starting in 2017 through
the end of 2019.
states are considering similar legislation, and New York and
Illinois already have a ban in place.
sponsor Rep. Patrick Bauer, D-South Bend, said there has
been little opposition against the movement since large
manufacturers have already started substituting microbeads
with natural substances such as ground-up fruit pits,
oatmeal and sea salt.
said the recent discovery was surprising, but they are more
concerned about the impact plastic will have on living
the fact that plastics act as a carrier. It acts as a way to
move chemicals from the water into the food chain,"
said Sherri Mason, an environmental scientist with State
University of New York-Fredonia, who spoke at Wednesday's
hearing through a webcam.
the leader of a research team that used special nets to drag
the surface of all five of the Great Lakes in 2012 and 2013.
The team found elevated levels of several pathogens linked
to cancer and birth defects on the surface of microbeads,
which are now being found in fish caught for human
had unanimous support in the committee and goes to the House