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January 2016    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 31, No. 1   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Flotsam & Jetsam

from the January, 2016 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Your Toothpaste May Be Killing Marine Life. The minuscule plastic "microbeads" often found in soap and toothpaste are harmful to sea life. That's because each day, consumers wash these minuscule bits down the drain by the ton, where they travel into the oceans and end up in the gullets of fish, turtles, marine mammals and sea birds. Microbeads are found in many top brands, including Crest toothpaste, Axe shower gels, Neutrogena skin care products, and face and body scrubs made for The Body Shop, Rite Aid and Estee Lauder. Now both countries and companies are cracking down on microbeads. Unilever and Colgate- Palmolive have stopped using microbeads; Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson say they will follow in 2017. And last month, both houses of Congress passed the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015, which will prohibit the manufacture of "rinse-off" cosmetics with microbeads as of 2016, ban their use in cosmetics starting in 2018, and prohibit their use in over-the-counter drugs from 2019....

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