New York May Ban Microbeads in Facial Scrubs
Lawmakers in Albany are on a mission to make New York the first state to outlaw microbeads, the tiny plastic beads used in things like facial scrubs and toothpastes.
Tiny microbeads, found in a lot of exfoliating face and body cleansers, can cause all sorts of problems with water supply, posing a risk not just for the environment, but public health as well.
The 5 Gyres Institute says “alarming levels” of the plastic beads, which are found in more than 100 scrubs, soaps and toothpastes, are making their way into the Great Lakes.
The problem is worst in Lake Erie. In 2012, researchers from SUNY Fredonia and 5 Gyres discovered that microbeads accounted for half of the plastic found at the surface of the lake. Pretty gross if you think about it.
The microbeads bypass wastewater treatment filters and become coated with toxins. If they’re consumed by fish and other marine life, those chemicals could eventually make their way up the food chain to humans.