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Illinois bans plastic microbeads in soaps over pollution concerns

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Illinois signed a bill into law on Sunday that will ban the sale and production of hand soaps, facial scrubs, and other personal care products containing plastic microbeads, which are viewed as an environmental hazard that could pollute the state's waterways. The manufacturing ban goes into place at the end of 2018, and the sales ban will go into place a year later, putting the law into effect at a slow pace.

"Banning microbeads will help ensure clean waters across Illinois."

"Banning microbeads will help ensure clean waters across Illinois and set an example for our nation to follow," Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says in a statement. "Lake Michigan and the many rivers and lakes across our state are among our most important natural resources. We must do everything necessary to safeguard them."

The law makes Illinois the first state to ban microbeads — a measure that's also been considered in states including New York and California. Illinois lawmakers want other states to pass similar bans, a measure that they believe is critical to protecting bodies of water and, in particular, the Great Lakes and its own Lake Michigan.