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1660 AM Kalamazoo, MI


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Enviromental groups concerned about microbeads presence in Great Lakes


LANSING (WKZO) -- Microbeads are a product commonly found in commercial shampoos, soaps, and toothpastes, but what many may not know is that the small abrasives don't dissolve when they go down the drain. Microbeads are actually small plastic particles that some conservation groups are worried are contaminating the Great Lakes as waste finds its way to the bodies of water.

The Marine Pollution Bulletin recently published a study by the 5 Gyres Institute saying they've found evidence that microbeads are contaminating surface water in Lakes Erie, Huron, and Superior, and they're studying samples now from Lakes Michigan and Ontario. The Alliance for the Great Lakes says previous studies have shown the particles can absorb toxic chemicals that may then be consumed by wildlife.

Fellow Great Lakes states Illinois and New York have proposed bans on the sale and distribution of products containing microbeads.