WHAT ARE MICROBEADS?
When microbeads were first invented it was welcomed by the cosmetics industry with open arms. The small beads are commonly used in scrubs of various forms which gently exfoliate your skin and are very cheap to manufacture. They are able to get into every nook and cranny and the smooth beads are able to clean your skin without any irritation.
Sadly experts did not consider the impact this would have on our environment or more likely did consider it but felt the financial gains far outweighed the impact it would have on our water and marine life. We arrive at this conclusion easily by the manner in which the presences of microbeads are listed in the ingredients, always hidden in very fine print making it virtually impossible to read.
LOOK IN YOUR BATHROOM
Take a quick look in your bathroom when you finish reading this article and you will see ingredients ending with “Beads” prefixed by a complex chemical name. It is common to find them in everything ranging from face wash to body scrub to moisturiser, all in all it is products we use on a daily basis. In majority of cases we use, then wash away down the sink which then pollutes our water systems. According to official sources in New York so many microbeads were flushed down sinks it over whelmed the state’s water treatment plants. In effect we are poisoning many of our major sources of water. Yesterday the Daily Mail published a very sombre and welcome article highlighting the impact of “Toxic Beads”. At least a third of the fish caught off Britain’s coastline were found to be contaminated with plastic particles. This is a big problem because microbeads are a magnet for pesticides, residue and industrial chemicals which reaches the human food chain through the vast numbers of fish we consume year on year.
It is estimated eight million tons of plastic enters our Oceans each year. In December President Obama approved legislation whereby there would be a phased removal of microbeads from manufacturing, especially cosmetics. A pressure is now being brought on our Prime Minister Theresa May to follow suit. It is anticipated legislation would be in place by 2017, however we are not sure the actual date by which all microbeads would be removed, sooner the better by the sound of it.
HOW TO TELL WHICH BRANDS AND PRODUCTS CONTAIN BEADS
Avoid all products containing these harmful toxins by checking lists found online outlining products and brands that use beads. Here is an organisation named “Beat The Microbeads” which gives you comprehensive lists of products to avoid by country. It does make for interesting reading; needless to say the normal major names feature prominently:
- Elizabeth Arden
- Estée Lauder
- Johnson & Johnson
- Byron Bay Skincare
- Dr Hauschke
- Organic Children
BAN THE BEAD!!