Study Finds Personal Care Products with Microbeads Polluting San Francisco Bay Waters - NBC Bay Area
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Study Finds Personal Care Products with Microbeads Polluting San Francisco Bay Waters

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A recent study found that personal care products are polluting San Francisco Bay waters. Pete Suratos reports. (Published Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015)

    A recent study found that personal care products are polluting San Francisco Bay waters.

    The study revolves around microbeads, tiny plastic capsules found in many personal care products like toothpaste and facial scrubs. The plastic beads wash down drains and end up in the San Francisco Bay.

    The study by the San Francisco Estuary Intitute found high levels of microbeads in samples taken throughout the Bay. Officials said the toxins in the beads are harmful to wildlife, who confuse it for food. 

    "The treatment plant is designed for people waste, food waste," said Rebecca Sutton with the San Francisco Estuary Institute. "It was not designed to handle these tiny plastic particles."

    The State Senate this month passed Asembly Bill 888, which bans products with microbeads. The bill still needs to be signed by Gov. Jerry Brown before it becomes law.

    If approved by the governor, the ban on products with microbeads will start in 2020.

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