Senate panel advances bill to ban microbeads

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An Indiana Senate committee unanimously passed a bill that would ban the sale and manufacture of popular toiletries and cosmetics containing tiny plastic particles that environmentalists say are polluting water resources.

The particles known as microbeads are typically found in facial scrubs and toothpastes. Scientists recently found that anywhere from 1,500 to 1.1 million microbeads per square mile can be found in Great Lakes and they are showing up in fish caught for human consumption.

Senate Commerce and Technology Committee members voted 6-0 Thursday to advance the measure that would gradually phase out the sale and production of cosmetics with microbeads. The House unanimously passed the legislation last month.

There has been little opposition to the bill since large manufacturers have already started substituting microbeads with organic materials.

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