Microbeads: Tiny Plastic Beads in Cosmetics On Their Way to Killing Us

Microbeads. I had no idea what it was. Yet, it could be killing us. Scrub away the day’s dirt and grime or revitalize with a delightful face cream and rinse. That’s when it happens. Teeny, tiny microbeads added into cosmetic and beauty products are poisoning our planet. Once down the drain, the tough little ball of plastic becomes a part of our waterways, finally ending up in oceans and eventually (through the circle of life) back on our tables.
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I’ve written about organic living and the environment for several years, a frustration I have is watching corporations attack products, commodities, or systems with a cheaper way to do business right under our noses. At times, it feels futile and impossible to keep up with. We’ve all watched GMOs infiltrate our food supply, pesticides our water, microbeads our cosmetics, and the K-Cup (the man now regrets inventing it) our coffee cup. I wonder how much more we don’t know about.

My children react intensely to chemicals. One is allergy sensitive to a long list of things. My son, with Down syndrome, has a slower immune system. There’s no way either of them can break down the pesticide residues or additives in food like people with typical digestive systems. There’s no way any of us can break this stuff down. It can hide and lurk in our system for years, causing problems “suddenly.” Pesticides are to cancer, reproductive disorders, diabetes, autism, asthma, birth defects, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases and more.
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At The Many Shades of Green, I’ve written an article about the addition of the microbead to many of our cosmetic products. Like so many other unhealthy additives, the microbead became a part of the system, wreaking havoc on our environment, right under our noses. And, like so many unhealthy additives, we’re stuck with working our back to fight the corporations to remove toxins, label ingredients, and find long-term solutions, not fast-buck results.

Photo from the Virgina Institue of Marine Science.

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