"Is Your Face Wash Damaging the Oceans?"

"Tiny but powerful forces are invading our seas, and your daily hygiene regimen is likely implicated.

Scientists and conservation advocates are now calling for the ban of microbeads – small pieces of plastic found in toothpaste, body scrub, face wash, and other 'exfoliating' cosmetics. The problems arise when microbeads are flushed down the drain, as they’re designed to be, and end up in aquatic habitats. Because they only measure up to one millimeter in size, wastewater treatment plants aren’t able to screen them.

As a result, about 8 trillion microbeads per day are entering rivers, lakes, and oceans. According the press release for a recent study on the spread and effects of the miniscule culprits, that’s enough to cover 300 tennis courts each day. But this figure doesn’t account for the 99 percent of all microbeads that end up in sewage sludge and can also eventually enter streams and oceans."

Cathaleen Chen reports for the Christian Science Monitor September 20, 2015.

Source: Christian Science Monitor, 09/23/2015