A Ban on Microbeads Used in Beauty Products

Posted on February 26, 2014

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ban-plastic-microbeads-used-in-skincare-productsSince a lot of our readers use beauty products which contain microbeads in them, such as exfoliating products like face scrubs, body scrubs and ones found in toothpastes), we found it important to alert our community that legislation has been introduced in New York proposing the ban on plastic microbeads used in personal care products.

NY Assemblyman Robert K. Sweeny of Suffolk County, the author of the bill, states that the plastic microbeads appear in the tens of millions in the Great Lakes according to scientists. And these beads become coated over time with toxins like PCBs (Polycholrinated biphenyls, known to cause cancer in animals and possibly humans too — PCB production was banned by Congress in 1979) and can be eaten by fish and other marine life. The end result is that these fish then get consumed by humans. The problem with these beads are that they are small enough to pass through wastewater treatment plants and end up contributing to environmental risk.

Major skin care manufacturers like Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson have agreed to phase out the use of plastic beads as a result of knowing their products contribute to environmental pollution. One drawback, however, is that the consumer should expect facial exfoliant product prices to increase as manufacturers will be forced to incorporate higher priced plastic microbead alternatives like powdered pelican shells and natural lava rock powder.

All in all, this is no biggie to the skin care industry and a quick fix when you think about it. But will your favorite facial scrub perform as well if different beads are used in it?

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Posted in: skin care