Beauty Products in our Waters

In the article “States Are Cracking Down on Face Wash”, Katy Steinmetz discusses the harmful effects of Microbeads. Microbeads are small round pieces of plastic that are often found in many face or body washes as an exfoliant. These bits of plastic are so small that they don’t fit through water sifters at treatment plants. This means that all of these Microbeads are going right down the drain and into our lakes and oceans!

While researchers are unsure about the effects of these beads in our ecosystem they know based on other research on plastic it can’t be good. Some states are even investigating banning the use of these products. However, microbeads aren’t only used in face wash they are also used in many other household products including toothpaste and toilet bowl cleaner. These small plastic beads are polluting the water while also offsetting most ecosystems and marine life because they resemble fish eggs. When looking at the bigger picture, we can see that if humans are polluting our waters with these tiny pieces of plastic that fish are consuming, we eventually will eat the fish that are now filled with toxins. These chemicals are in the food chain which only adds to the intensity of the issue. Although there is little evidence of the harmful effects of microbeads,  we can only assume that it is building up to eventually become a large portion of the plastic pollution in water. Many companies and researchers say that they should wait to stop manufacturing these products until concrete evidence of harmful effects on the environment are found however that will only result in the buildup of plastic when it is too late.

Microbeads are something that the public should be informed about before purchasing personal care items. Many people are uneducated when it comes to how these products effect our environment and the easy substitutions we can make to stop promoting brands that produce such harmful products.

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