Published: Wednesday, December 30, 2016 @ 8:21 AM
Updated: Wednesday, December 30, 2016 @ 8:44 AM
By: Cox Media Group National Content Desk
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The little hard plastic beads found in shampoo, toothpaste and facial wash will soon be a thing of the past.
President Obama recently signed a law that bans microbeads from items sold in the U.S.
The beads have polluted some New York state bodies of water, WTEN reported.
Environmental scientists estimate that 808 trillion beads are flushed down the drain every day.
The small plastic beads are too small to be caught in the filters of wastewater treatment plants and the beads settle in the sludge which is used as fertilizer. Runoff causes the beads to be introduced into the water supply, Popular Science reported.
Fish and wildlife can ingest the beads, The Associated Press reported.
Manufacturers are required to phase out the plastic microbeads starting in 2017, with the prohibition of the manufacture of plastic microbead products going into effect July 1, 2017, The AP reported.
You can look for natural exfoliates when you buy new products, and Popular Science suggests avoiding those that include polyethylene or polypropylene as an ingredient in microbeads.