Microbeads to be banned in the United States

Mohammad Hakim, News Reporter

President Obama has recently signed a bill that will prohibit the selling and distributing products containing microbeads that will go into effect in 2017. The bill is intended to protect the nation’s waterways as it has become an environmental hazard after recent health discoveries.. A microbead is any solid plastic particle that is less than 5 millimeters and is used for the purpose of exfoliating or cleansing, according to the bill.
These tiny plastic beads have become extremely common in hundreds of products ranging from body scrubs to toothpastes. They provide an exfoliating sensation for users and are designed to wash down drains.
But because they are made of plastic, microbeads do not dissolve they pose a very hazardous situation for the environment.
A recent study was published in Environmental Science & Technology that more than 8 trillion microbeads were entering the country’s different water ways and systems. The volume was apparently enough to coat the surface of 300 tennis courts every day.
Not only are they hard to clean up because they are about the size of a pinhead, researchers say they are also posing a threat to aquatic life.
Some marine life mistake small plastic as food particles. Scientists are researching whether microplastics affect the health of marine life once ingested and if chemicals transfer to humans who eat those species later, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Another serious claim about these beads is that they are too small to be filtered out through many water filtration systems leading to the consumption of the tiny product.

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