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California Bans Toothpaste Microbeads

Oct 29, 2015

By Dean George

California became the largest state to bid bye-bye to the microbeads found in toothpaste, soap and body wash after Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation this month that will ban the plastic beads beginning in 2020.

Bead opponents oppose the polyethylene microbeads because they are not biodegradable. Environmentalists claim the beads pass through water filtration systems without disintegrating and are showing up inside fish and wildlife.

Bill sponsor Assemblyman Richard Bloom called the beads a “pervasive source of plastic pollution” when citing a recent study which claimed there was a staggering amount of them in the San Francisco Bay as well as the Pacific Ocean.

Dental Wire previously reported Proctor & Gamble, the makers of Crest®, announced all their toothpastes will be microbead free by March, 2016. Crest® said in 2014 that it had begun removing the little colored blue specks from Crest® 3D Whitening and Crest® Pro Health toothpaste and that many of their other products did not contain the microbeads.

Crest® and other toothpaste manufacturers like Colgate-Palmolive® and Johnson & Johnson® first introduced the scrubbing beads to create a more enjoyable brushing experience, but even some dental hygienists and dentists have said they have noticed tiny blue specks embedded in the gums of patients.

Reportedly some patients have complained of mouth pain if they don’t thoroughly wash the beads away.

Johnson & Johnson®, makers of Rembrandt®  and Listerine® toothpaste, announced in 2013 that all their personal care products would be microbead free by the end of 2017. Colgate-Palmolive® stopped using microbeads in 2014.

Proctor & Gamble® said they are actively working to replace microbeads with alternatives from all their personal care products by 2017.

The Detroit Free Press reported Oct 12th that enormous amounts of microbeads have been found in Lakes Erie, Huron and Superior and have also been found in their fish. As a result the Michigan legislature is also considering a similar ban as the one Gov. Brown signed in California. Other states banning the plastic beads are Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey and Wisconsin.

Photo source:

Copyright 2015, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC
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