Saturday, July 22, 2017

UK Bans Microbeads

Microbeads. Click for photo credit.
The United Kingdom announced that they are banning microbeads from most products. In case you haven't been paying attention, manufacturers have added microbeads to a variety of personal care items such as toothpaste, shower gels, and skin care products. They provide a light abrasion that cleans skin or teeth. After use, the beads enter water treatment systems where they are not picked up in current treatment practices. As a result, the beads are released to surface water bodies where small animals may ingest them. They have entered the human food chain.

Ecologists have been ringing the warning bell for several years about microbeads. They are playing havoc in marine and freshwater systems. Many U.S. States have banned microbeads and the U.S. government followed suit near the end of the Obama administration. Prior to the band, it was estimated that 8 trillion microbeads were released into surface waters of the U.S. from sewage treatment plants every day. Some of the environmental impacts of microbeads on marine organisms are listed the site Beat the Microbead

No comments: