California to Phase Out Microbeads Used in Soaps, Toothpaste

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SACRAMENTO (AP) —

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation that requires California to phase out the use of microscopic beads in personal care products sold in the state starting in 2020 to protect fish and wildlife.

Previous versions of the ban passed the Assembly but failed in the Senate. Republicans say late amendments to the measure prompted many business critics to drop their opposition to California joining several other states in eliminating the so-called microbeads.

The exfoliating beads found in soap, toothpaste and body washes are so small that they are showing up in the bodies of fish and other wildlife after passing through water filtration systems without disintegrating.

A number of companies are replacing microbeads with natural substances such as ground-up fruit pits