Microbeads capa

Warming! Microbeads inside

Microbeads are non-biodegradable minuscule fragments of plastic under 5 mm in diameter that have sneakily been added to many household products, especially cosmetic and personal care products. They are often used as emulsifying agents or just as cheap fillers.

Microbeads are found in a wide daily basis variety of products such as: sunscreen and other sun care products, toothpaste, nail polish, lipstick, anti-ageing cream, soaps, deodorants, cosmetics such as foundation and blush. If you are worried have a look at ingredients lists back of your cosmetic products to check if there are not any microbeads, primarily: Polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and nylon.

Wastewater treatment plants are not designed to remove microbeads from the water. Therefore, from your bath sink microbeads find their way to water bodies and ocean. Sea animals absorb or eat microplastics. In addition microbeads also soak up toxins like a sponge. Since humans are ultimately at the top of the food chain, it is likely that we also ingest microplastics.  Once they enter the marine environment, microplastics are almost impossible to remove. 

The good news is that 15 countries already have taken steps to ban microbeads, and 448 brands from 119 different manufacturers have promised to remove plastic microbeads from their products. Since 2018 microbeads were banned from Rio de Janeiro State (Law nº 8090/18), and Brazil is trying to do the same countrywide (Law Project  nº 6528/16).

You can check if your products containg microbeads and see the list of products and companies that have pledge not to use microbeads in www.Beatthemicrobed.org. If you do find that a product you’ve already bought contains microbeads, then you can also post it back to the vendor and ask for refund or complain with the companie. You might not get your money back, but at least they will get the message that customers do not want any microbeads anymore. 

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