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Federal Government Bans Household Products with Microbeads that Harm Environment

The federal government has taken a bold step to prohibit the use of microbeads in cleansing products. President Obama recently signed off on a law passed by the U.S. Congress last year. The law bans companies from selling certain products containing microbeads, an ingredient that has been found to be extremely harmful to the environment.

Microbeads are often used to make soaps, body washes, toothpastes and other personal care products sold in stores throughout the United States. Many of these cleansing products use microbeads because the particles work as tiny scrubbers to help consumers remove oil and dirt from their skin and/or teeth. Additionally, microbeads are used in makeup because they function as exfoliating agents.

Although health officials have been aware of the potential risks of microbeads for several years, it was only recently that studies conclusively showed that microbead particles are seriously damaging the environment and creating a major hazard in the Great Lakes region. According to experts, as many as 1.7 million microbeads per square kilometer end up in Lake Erie.

After consumers use products containing microbeads, most of the ingredients dissolve. However, microbeads don’t dissolve very easily, resulting in contamination of water streams. When the microbeads work their way through sewage and water treatment plants, they simply do not go away. Ultimately, the dangerous particles end up in large bodies of water like rivers, lakes and the ocean and cause pollution.

Now the federal government has stepped in and decided that regulation is necessary to limit the environmental contamination caused by products with microbeads. The government crackdown on microbeads has been embraced by a number of manufacturers, including Johnson & Johnson, Unilever and Procter & Gamble, all of which agreed to immediately phase out the use of microbeads in their cleansing products. Although the government ban doesn’t take effect until July 1, 2017, it’s possible that the companies are choosing to stop the use of microbeads now in order to avoid potential product liability lawsuits down the road.

For additional information about the federal government’s ban on microbeads, read the Yahoo.com article, “Here’s Why the US Government Suddenly Banned a Bunch of Soaps, Bodywashes, and Toothpastes.”

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or an illness as a result of a defective product, you should speak to a skilled personal injury and product liability lawyer today. The NJ product liability attorneys at Drazin and Warshaw, P.C. have more than 70 years of combined experience with these types of cases and will fight to get you full and fair compensation for your injuries. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about your case.

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