Unseen threat : how microbeads harm New York waters, wildlife, health and environment

New York waters are being polluted with microbeads: tiny plastic beads produced for use as abrasives in cosmetics and personal care products. Buoyant, multicolored and often spherical, these plastic microbeads are washed down bathroom sinks, pass through wastewater treatment plants, and end up discharged into New York’s waters. In our waters, microbeads persist for decades, acting as sponges for toxic chemical pollutants. Mistaken for food by aquatic organisms, microbeads serve as a pathway for pollutants to enter the food chain and contaminate the fish and wildlife we eat. (…)

New York State Attorney General, Eric T. Schneiderman, 2014

The report


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