President Obama just signed into law the Microbead-Free Waters Act, which bans the sale and manufacture of plastic microbeads in personal care products. The ban on microbeads in products such as body scrubs and toothpastes will take effect beginning July 1st, 2017. The decision is huge for the safety of our waterways, as well as those who use them.

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8 trillion of the pinhead-sized microbeads are released into waterways every day in the US alone. Fish mistake the beads for food and absorb toxic chemicals, which is then harmful for those who eat the fish. 90 percent of seabirds were also found to have ingested the particles.

Related: Microplastic beads from face scrub clog US waterways and poison fish

The Great Lakes are especially affected by the release of microbeads, according to The Guardian. Both Michigan and Ohio, which borders the largest stretch of Lake Erie shoreline, are considering their own legislation against the tiny pollutants. Illinois has banned the sale of products containing microbeads and California also finalized a bill to phase out the particles. “These microbeads are tiny plastic, but make for big-time pollution,” said Republican co-sponsor of the bill Fred Upton. “We will fight any activity that puts our beloved Great Lakes in jeopardy.”

Via The Verge

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