NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — State and city elected officials called Wednesday for environmental legislation banning microbeads.

City Councilman Dan Garodnick, D-Manhattan, is proposing a citywide ban on the sale of products containing the small plastic beads that are found in nearly 100 health and beauty products, WCBS 880’s John Metaxas reported.

Microbeads can be found in everything from exfoliating facial cleaners to brightening toothpastes. The abrasives are meant to scrub you clean, but they present a major environmental hazards, said state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who’s pushing for a statewide ban.

“They are smaller than a grain of sand,” Schneiderman told reporters in Central Park. “They pass through our walter filtration systems without being caught.”

From there, they can absorb toxins such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which are ingested by fish that later get into the human food chain.


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