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Supports strong action by the U.S. EPA and NOAA to address toxic plastic pollution

Harford, CT—Clean Water Action, a national environmental advocacy organization that helped pass the Clean Water Act, applauded Connecticut Attorney General Tong for his leadership on microplastics and microfibers.  

Connecticut Clean Water Action Director, Anne Hulick, stated:

“From our founding in 1972, Clean Water Action’s mission has been to protect our waters from harmful pollution.  Little did we know at that time, that microplastics would be such a devastating problem.  The oceans, Long Island Sound and Connecticut rivers are filled with microplastics.  These tiny plastic particles are consumed by fish, sea mammals and birds. Plastic is not only a fossil-fuel product but contains chemicals that disrupt hormones.  

We are grateful to Attorney General Tong for his leadership, garnering the support of sixteen other Attorneys General and urge the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to adopt measures that would dramatically reduce microplastic fibers from washing machine cycles.”

Synthetic materials used to make clothing and other items contain tiny microplastics known as microfibers. Microfibers shed when washed and end up in wastewater and ultimately in rivers and the ocean.  These plastic microfibers are not only made from fossil fuel byproducts but contain numerous harmful chemicals.  Many of these chemicals are endocrine disruptors, synthetic chemicals that disrupt hormones in fish, sea mammals and humans.  

Endocrine disrupting chemicals are strongly linked to hormonal cancers, reproductive disorders including infertility, metabolic disorders including diabetes and obesity, asthma, and neurodevelopmental disorders including autism. 

Technologies exist and are required in other countries to filter and trap plastic microfibers in the wash cycle before they enter our waterways. Research suggests these technologies can successfully filter out as much as 75 percent of microplastics in each wash cycle. 

“Proven technologies exist to mitigate this crisis. The U.S. EPA and NOAA must use their authority to address the scourge of plastic pollution in our waters. We applaud Attorney General Tong for his leadership in urging our government to act," stated Hulick.



Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking, and people power to the table.

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