OCT 19, 2016 5:02 AM PDT

Is Your Face Wash Killing Fish?


It's hard to imagine that a little tube of face wash or wrinkle cream could impact the environment, but it can and not because of the container, but because of what's in it. Many personal care products contain tiny beads, made of plastic that work to exfoliate skin or improve cleansing. The problem is these beads are so tiny, ranging in size from 0.0004 to 1.24 millimeters. They are not caught in the filters of waste water treatment plants and wind up directly in the oceans and rivers. Fish mistake them for food and ingest them, and multiple studies have shown that many species are being affected. According to government records, almost 19 tons of the beads were making their way into water supplies in New York State alone.

President Obama signed a bill banning the use of these beads in products in late 2015. Companies will have until July 2017 to phase out their use in personal hygiene products. Now the UK is looking to follow suit. A report from the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee said that a single shower can flush 100,000 plastic particles into the sewage system. An estimated 86 tons of microbeads are released into the environment in the U.K. each year from facial scrubs alone.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
JUN 26, 2020
Neuroscience
Artificial and Natural Neurons Communicate Using Dopamine
JUN 26, 2020
Artificial and Natural Neurons Communicate Using Dopamine
Researchers from Stanford University have shown that artificial neurons can communicate with biological neurons with dop ...
JUL 23, 2020
Plants & Animals
Sharks Missing from 1/5 of World's Reefs
JUL 23, 2020
Sharks Missing from 1/5 of World's Reefs
Sharks of all sizes are vital to coral reef ecosystems, both as predators and prey. Shark populations have rapidly decli ...
JUL 30, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Indian Schoolgirls Discover Asteroid Moving Towards Earth
JUL 30, 2020
Indian Schoolgirls Discover Asteroid Moving Towards Earth
During a project sponsored by Space India and NASA, two schoolgirls aged 14 in the 10th grade discovered an asteroid nea ...
SEP 07, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Earth's Atmosphere Causes Moon to Rust
SEP 07, 2020
Earth's Atmosphere Causes Moon to Rust
Researchers from the University of Hawaii have noticed that the Moon is turning slightly red or 'rusty'- and tha ...
SEP 10, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Could There Be Life on Venus?
SEP 10, 2020
Could There Be Life on Venus?
Venus is the hottest planet in our solar system, reaching 465 degrees Celcius- a temperature hot enough to melt lead. Wh ...
SEP 16, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Something Unexpected Happens on Mars During Solar Eclipse
SEP 16, 2020
Something Unexpected Happens on Mars During Solar Eclipse
From data captured by NASA's InSight Mars Lander, researchers in Switzerland have found that Mars behaves differentl ...
Loading Comments...