Senator Skindell Introduces Legislation To Ban The Use Of Microbeads In Ohio
Tiny plastic polymers cause harm to marine life and increase pollution in Lake Erie
Posted March 31, 2014 by Minority Caucus

Columbus—Today, Senator Michael J. Skindell (D-Lakewood) announced the introduction of Senate Bill 304, legislation that would ban the use of microbeads in Ohio.. Used in personal care and beauty products such as facial scrubs, body washes, toothpaste and hand soaps, these particles, coated with toxins like PCBs are being deposited into Lake Erie causing harm to the water and marine life.

“By enacting this common sense legislation, we can help stop the pollution of one of Ohio’s greatest landmarks,” said Senator Skindell.

Microbeads are micro-polymer particles, less than five millimeters in diameter, that are made of synthetic or semi-synthetic polymeric materials such as polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polymethyl methacrylate, or a combination of such polymers. Due to their color, fish mistake them for food and digest them.

“According to a study conducted by scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Superior and the 5 Gyres Institute, “356,000 microbeads are found in one 4.2-ounce tube of a leading facial cleanser,” said Senator Skindell. “Unfortunately due to their size, they are slipping through our waste water management systems and ending up in Lake Erie.”

Companies found to be in violation would be subject to a misdemeanor fine of $1,000 for each day in which the violation occurs.

A similar measure was introduced in New York in early February due to the high volume of microbeads found along the New York shores of Lake Erie.  Companies such as Procter and Gamble and Johnson and Johnson have pledged to phase out the usage of microbeads. Powdered pecan shells and sea salt have been considered as alternatives.

Ohio is the third state to introduce legislation to ban the usage of microbeads. 

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