Why Are Plastic Microbeads Bad?

Please don’t buy soaps, face scrubs and toothpastes that have these teeny tiny plastic beads.

“MicroBeads” are little exfoliating beads used in soap, face scrubs, and toothpaste.  The are made of plastic and are causing pollution problems in our oceans, rivers and sewer treatment facilities.

plastic bead soap

In the photo: Bath & Body Works Peach Hand Soap

These plastic beads absorb toxins like tiny sponges.  The small size of the beads is causing problems in sewer treatment plants across the U.S.

“This week, Illinois became the first state in the country to ban exfoliating plastic beads. Good for Illinois. Plastic microbeads have been running off by the billions into the Great Lakes and the oceans, causing huge amounts of environmental damage. Yet most consumers didn’t even realize they existed.

Marine biologists have warned for a while now that dumping tiny pieces of polyethylene plastic down the drain into the ocean will not end well. But since a study by the nonprofit 5 Gyres Institute found rampant pollution in the Great Lakes in 2013, a campaign to ban the beads has been gaining traction in the U.S. (proving once again we care about the issues geographically closest to us.) In addition to Illinois’s ban, New York and California legislatures are considering similar legislation.”

“These tiny bits of plastic, small scrubbing components used in hundreds of personal care products like skin exfoliants and soap, can slip through most water treatment systems when they wash down the drain.

Environmentalists say they’re a part of the plastic pollution found in the ocean, and, increasingly, in the Great Lakes, which contain more than 20 percent of the world’s freshwater. “

The beads get into the water and soak up toxins, then fish eat the beads, absorb the toxins, and pass them onto humans who consume the fish.  Ugh!

There are hundreds of personal care products that contain tiny plastic microbeads.  Microbeads in toothpaste can get embedded in your gums.. ugh, no thanks!

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