A measure from Sen. Portman and cosponsored by Sen. Brown to protect Lake Erie and other resources from microbeads is now headed to the President for signing. The bill targets harmful effects of microbeads, which can be found in products such as soaps. The plastic particles then wash down the drain and are discharged into lakes and rivers where they can be detrimental to wildlife that ingest them. A study from the State University of New York determined that Lake Erie has about 46,000 particles of plastic per square kilometer. That's much higher than the 6,000-8,000 ratio over the same area in lakes Superior and Huron and the 17,000 particles per square kilometer in Lake Michigan.
"Plastic microbeads are devastating to wildlife and human health, and I'm pleased our bill will now be law so we can phase them out in a way that's fair to Ohio companies and keeps them on a level playing field with their competitors," Sen. Portman said in a statement. "Lake Erie is not only a precious natural resource, but also essential for Ohio jobs and tourism and our bill takes appropriate steps to protect this important asset for Ohio."
Sen. Brown also applauded its passage. "Ohio's waterways, like Lake Erie, are an important source of food and we must protect their wildlife from the threat of synthetic microbeads," Sen. Brown said. "By banning microbeads, we can help ensure that the food Ohioans' eat is free from toxic chemicals."