products with microbeads

Plastic in your Cosmetics

Microbeads are really tiny plastic particles usually smaller than two millimeters.  The composition of microbeads can vary and often include polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polymethlyl methacrylate (PMMA) or nylon. Bottom line, it’s all plastic!

What products contain plastic microbeads?

Plastic microbeads are in face soaps, body washes, and even toothpastes. They are sometimes included in “age-defying” makeup (yes, filling in wrinkles with plastic dust!), as well as lip gloss and nail polish. Most wastewater treatment doesn’t filter out microbeads, and they get discharged into waterways.[1]  As a result, micro-plastic particles are found in bays, gulfs and seas worldwide, as well as inland waterways.[2]

What products contain plastic microbeads?

Plastic microbeads are in face soaps, body washes, and even toothpastes. They are sometimes included in “age-defying” makeup (yes, filling in wrinkles with plastic dust!), as well as lip gloss and nail polish. Most wastewater treatment doesn’t filter out microbeads, and they get discharged into waterways.[1]  As a result, micro-plastic particles are found in bays, gulfs and seas worldwide, as well as inland waterways.[2]

Does microbead pollution impact us?

Could the plastic you’re washing your face with end up in your sushi? Crazy, but yes. Fish species that humans harvest for food have been known to eat micro-plastic particles at an alarming rate and the toxins absorbed in those plastics transfer to the fish tissue.[3]

Plastic microbeads absorb persistent organic pollutants (longlasting toxic chemicals like pesticides, flame retardants, motor oil and more) and other industrial chemicals that move up the food chain when the toxic coated beads are consumed by fish and other marine organisms. A single microbead can be up to a million times more toxic than the water around it![4]

[mailerlite_form form_id=2]

Biomagnification

Wikipedia:

"Biomagnification, also known as bioamplification or biological magnification, is the increasing concentration of a substance, such as a toxic chemical, in the tissues of organisms at successively higher levels in a food chain. "

Substances that biomagnify...

There are two main groups of substances that biomagnify. Both are lipophilic and not easily degraded. Novel organic substances are not easily degraded because organisms lack previous exposure and have thus not evolved specific detoxification and excretion mechanisms, as there has been no selection pressure from them. These substances are consequently known as "persistent organic pollutants" or POPs.

So in shortcut what goes to out water waste goes to the ocean eventually. then it is eaten by smaller fish to bigger fish all the way up in the food chain to land back on our plate. Tasty!

How do I know if I’m washing my face or brushing my teeth with plastic?

Most people have no idea that those little beads are actually bits of plastic! In the United States, The Food And Drug Administration (FDA) requires that if a product contains microbeads the company has to list the ingredients. Not all countries require this, but many producers list their ingredients anyway. If you see any of the following ingredients: polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate or polymethyl methacrylate you’re cleaning up with plastic and being duped into contributing to plastic pollution in the environment—yikes!

Why can’t you just replace the microbeads with bio-degradable plastic?

Biodegradable plastics require an industrial scale composting facility to get the plastic really hot so it can degrade as intended. Since plastic microbeads are designed to wash down the drain, they simply won’t break down (not the mention the myriad other issues with bioplastics).

Why won’t the personal care products industry swap the plastic out for natural substitute?

This question is kind of hard to answer because (surprise!) industry isn’t being real forthcoming about why they want to substitute one kind of plastic for another..
But more importantly, plastic microbeads are smoother than natural alternatives like apricot shells, jojoba beans, and pumice. Why is smoother “better”? Smoother means these cleansers will be less effective at exfoliating, which means you can use them everyday, which means they want you to buy more of their Stuff!

 products with microbeads products without microbeads toothpaste without microbeads 2017 microbeads in cosmetics where are microbeads found

Education is important to solving marine pollution.

The public can get involved in this issue by:

  • Reduce, Reuse and Recycle plastics;
  • Use reusable cloth bags instead of plastic bags when shopping;
  • Support local, regional and nationwide bans on plastic grocery bags;
  • Don’t litter. Instead, volunteer at local beach clean-up events;
  • Make sure to properly secure your garbage to prevent any fly-away plastics;
  • Don’t release balloons into the air. They travel far and end up in our oceans being consumed by sea turtles that mistake them for food.
references:
  • 1. Research from New York University for effluent tested at several wastewater facilities demonstrated 80,000 micro-beads per day escaping treatment, per facility
  • 2. D. Barnes, F. Galgani, R. Thompson, M. Barlaz, Accumulation and fragmentation of plastic debris in global environments. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B. 364, 1985-1998 (2009). In 2012, scientists found micro beads numbering more than 450,000 per square kilometer in parts of the Great Lakes.
  • 3. Yukie Mato, Tomohiko Isobe, Hideshige Takada, Haruyuki Kanehiro, Chiyoko Ohtake, and Tsuguchika Kaminuma, Plastic Resin Pellets as a Transport Medium for Toxic Chemicals in the Marine Environment, Environ. Sci. Technol., 2001, 35 (2), pp 318–324 (h)
  • 4. Chelsea M. Rochman, Eunha Hoh, Tomofumi Kurobe & Swee J. Teh, Ingested plastic transfers hazardous chemicals to fish and induces hepatic stress, Scientific Reports 3,Article number: 3263.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *