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‘Sanctuary Lecture Series’ to feature doctor that exposed microbeads in personal care products

(Photo Courtesy/Wikimedia) Dr. Sherri Mason's research helped create a ban on microbeads in personal care products.

Alpena, Mich. — Thursday night, the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary will welcome Dr. Sherri Mason, a revolutionary in exposing plastic pollution in the Great Lakes.

Dr. Mason will lecture on her work in helping establish the Microbeads–Free Water Act that was signed into law in 2015, banning the manufacture and use of microbeads within personal care products. The law went into effect in July of 2018. She will also touch on her current work and what she plans to explore in the future.

Dr. Mason is the 2018 recipient of the Heinz Award in Public Policy for her groundbreaking research identifying the presence of microbeads and microfibers in fresh water, and for raising awareness of their potential health impact, resulting in state, federal and international policy change.

“Now, she’s doing research at the international level and has been asked to come up with, to become part of a team, and come up with methodology and vocabulary for identifying plastics in our water system,” said Friends of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary Director Katie Wolf.

Catch this lecture on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. at the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center theater. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

“Several other countries have followed up on her research and also banned microbeads,” said Wolf. “This is a researcher that is having a major international impact.”