On Tuesday, June 30, Connecticut lawmakers passed a bill to protect the environment and human health by banning the manufacture of tiny plastic microbeads and the sale of products containing microbeads, such as health and beauty products like toothpaste and facial scrubs.
Plastic microbeads, like all plastics, leach toxins into the environment where they damage ecosystems and wildlife; as well as pass along toxins through the food chain that then harm human health in a variety of ways:
Toxins from plastic can alter the human endocrine system and immune system, and they can also cause cancer. They are also known to get stuck in gums and discolor teeth. Connecticut officials informed the public that in a single year the state produces over three tons of microbeads waste.
Some people late Tuesday and all day yesterday wondered why this issue had not been previously addressed already at a national level by the Environmental Protection Agency years ago. After all, the EPA is supposed to create and regulate policies involving toxic waste and waste disposal. Many Americans consider it a sad state of affairs that Connecticut had to issue this ban on its own. A lot of people hope that this decision will lead other states to follow Connecticut’s example.
Daniel Amen has pointed out the fact that Connecticut is not the first state though to ban microbeads. Illinois was first and other states are considering bans or alternative material compromises like biodegradable beads.