HAUPPAGUE - Suffolk County legislators voted unanimously to ban personal care products that contain microbeads due to the potential harm they cause to the environment.
Supporters of the bill say the tiny beads are too small to be filtered out by sewage treatment systems and end up in our waterways. This summer, environmentalists say they were found in the Long Island Sound for the very first time.
"They act as little, tiny toxic sponges because they absorb pesticides and heavy metals," says Adrienne Esposito, of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. "Fish eat them, shellfish eat them. Then they end up on our dinner plate."
Suffolk is now the fourth county in the state to issue a ban on microbeads. Some companies have already started phasing them out of their products, including Johnson & Johnson, Procter and Gamble, Colgate, Palmolive, L'Oreal and the Body Shop.
Still, officials say other companies are fighting the bans.