As soon as January 2016, President Barack Obama may be expected to sign a bill sent his way by the US Senate asking for a ban of microbeads – tiny synthetic particles used in cosmetic products and personal care products and even in certain drugs – Detroit Free Press reports.
These tiny microbeads have been found to be environmentally dangerous to fish and marine organisms in the Great Lakes and other waterways – causing widespread poisoning and pollutions.
Fred Upton sponsored the bill in the House and the Senate last Friday voted to pass it into legislation, eventually sending it to President Obama to append his signature to make a law – banning the use of microbeads in cosmetic products in 2018 and its use in drugs in 2019, with a ban on its manufacture in 2017.
Environmental groups and other lobbyists had been fighting for decades to reduce the use of microbeads or even ban its use – without much success, but the latest move of the Senate at asking Mr. President to get it banned is a welcome development that is well-received among supporters.
Environmentalists say microbeads can harm fish and kill birds and wildlife that eat them if the substance gets discharged into waterways. Microbeads are very tiny and could easily pass through sewer and water systems into waterways to do damage.
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“Christmas has come early for Lake Michigan and all of our nation’s waters,” said Upton. “These pesky pieces of plastic may be tiny, but they are causing big time pollution. I am pleased the Senate followed the House’s lead, and that the president will soon have an opportunity to sign this important bipartisan bill into law. Microbeads' days are numbered, and that’s good news."