- Associated Press - Sunday, December 13, 2015

BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts lawmakers are holding a public hearing this week on a bill that would ban the use of plastic microbeads in personal care products and over-the-counter drugs.

The ban would be phased in over the next few years and fully take effect by 2021.

The bill - sponsored by state Sen. Karen Spilka, an Ashland Democrat - is one focus of Tuesday’s public hearing before the Public Health Committee at the Statehouse.

In October, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation requiring the state to phase out the use of the microscopic exfoliating beads in personal care products starting in 2020.

The tiny plastic beads found in soap, toothpaste and body washes are showing up in the bodies of fish and other wildlife after passing through water filtration systems.

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