At one point in your life, you’ve probably washed your face with a cleanser that contains those little microbeads that promise to leave skin glowy and exfoliated. But what you probably didn’t know is that these beads can be ultra-harmful to the environment. That’s why the government is taking action; the House of Representatives recently passed the Microbeads-Free Waters Act to prevent the harming of wildlife.
The Wildlife Conservation Society issued a release after the announcement, detailing the effects of those tiny, seemingly harmless beads that apparently cause big problems. As John Calvelli, WCS executive vice president of public affairs, explains: “In New York State alone, 19 tons of microbeads are washed down the drain every year. They collect pollutants such as DDT and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and then become part of the food chain when fish mistake them for food.”
Nineteen tons of microbeads in New York state alone is definitely cause for concern. Not only can these beads harm animals, but they can also have negative effects on humans because the beads are eaten by wildlife and move through the food chain. The Guardian reports that the Microbead-Free Waters Act would begin to phase out the plastic found in soap, toothpaste and body washes beginning July 1, 2017. The bill had been backed by a bipartisan committee and will move to the Senate for approval.
Here’s hoping these little beads are history!
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(Photo via iStock)