WASHINGTON (December 7, 2015) – Today, the House of Representatives took a step toward cleaner waterways and healthy wildlife by passing the Microbeads-Free Waters Act. The bill, led by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), contains needed restrictions on the tiny pollutants contained in personal care products that are harming wildlife across the country.

The following statement was released by John Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President of Public Affairs:

“I thank Congressmen Pallone and Upton for continuing to champion healthy waters through their successful support of the Microbeads-Free Waters Act through the legislative process.

“Microbeads are highly damaging to the natural environment and the wildlife that live there. Because natural alternatives already exist, a ban on their use in personal care products makes perfect sense.

“In New York State alone, 19 tons of microbeads are washed down the drain every year. They collect pollutants such as DDT and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and then become part of the food chain when fish mistake them for food.

“New York City has recently introduced legislation for a strong ban to make sure microbead-laden products are completely off the shelves and that there are no loopholes that will still allow for microbeads to enter New York's waters. It is gratifying to see such progress on the federal level as well and I am hopeful that this legislation will complement and reinforce strong efforts at the state and local level such as those in New York.

“I urge the Senate to take swift action on Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s companion legislation to the Microbead-Free Waters Act. Through concerted efforts to ban microbeads on the local, state and federal levels, we can protect our aquatic wildlife and wild places and decrease pollution in our waters.”


WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society)

MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in nearly 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: newsroom.wcs.org Follow: @WCSNewsroom. For more information: 347-840-1242.