Cleanser beads could affect fish I discovered the exfoliating beads in exfoliating washes, soaps and toothpaste I use include small beads of plastic.
According to the article, in a recent study thousands of these small plastic pieces were discovered in water samples taken from Lake Superior, Lake Huron and Lake Erie. It turns out a single tube of Clean and Clear scrub from Johnson and Johnson contains 330,000 beads. The problem is these plastic beads float and water treatment plants aren’t designed to deal with floating matter. Researchers are worried that fish might think the pellets are eggs and eat them. That's problematic because plastics tend to absorb pollutants, such as PCBs, pesticides and motor oil. So the beads could poison the small fish that larger fish prey on. The larger fish are eaten by humans, which poses a human health risk.
The good news is faced with the results, the major manufacturers, including L'Oreal, the Body Shop and Johnson and Johnson, have committed to phasing out the plastic microbeads by 2015. Proctor and Gamble said it would follow by 2017, according to a story by CBC News in Canada.
I recently was considering removing foods that contain additives from my diet. This challenge was going to focus only on food and food additives, but now that I know there is plastic in my soap I’m also going to pay more attention to what is in my beauty products.
Have you ever been surprised to learn a harmful or unusual additive was included in a product you use? Did this knowledge change your purchasing habits?
Would you like to see additional consumer education posts similar to this one or would you prefer posts about books and/or career related topics?