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New Jersey Publishes Bill to Prohibit Cosmetic Products Containing Plastic Microbeads

November 18, 2014

The State of New Jersey has announced the unanimous approval of Assembly Bill 3083 by both Houses. The bill prohibits the manufacture, sale or promotion of cosmetic products containing plastic microbeads and supplements Title 58 of the Revised Statutes.

The legislation defines “microbeads” as means any plastic component of a personal cosmetic product measured to be five millimeters or less in size.

The legislation states:

  • On or after January 1, 2015, no person shall produce or manufacture in the State a personal cosmetic product containing microbeads for consumer use or any other purpose.
  • On or after January 1, 2018 or two years after the date of enactment of this act, whichever is sooner, no person shall sell, offer for sale, or offer for promotion in the State a personal cosmetic product containing microbeads for consumer use or any other purpose.

Microbeads reportedly contain harmful toxins. They flow through water treatment facilities and are directly deposited in waterways, as water management facilities around the country are not capable of filtering them. Additionally, microbeads in open water appear edible to fish, which then eat the toxin-covered plastic particles and are, in turn, consumed by other fish or humans, resulting in microbeads covered with toxins entering the food chain.

The State of Illinois enacted a similar ban earlier this year, and bills in several states, including California, Michigan, New York, and Ohio, have been introduced. Bills currently in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are also under consideration.

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