Soap News: Microbeads and the Environment

Heather says

We spend a lot of time on here talking about cleaning things. Today those things will include you. A few years ago I mentioned the Voluntary Ban on Phosphorous in Automatic Dishwasher Detergent. While I don’t think this particular bill that will ban the use of microbeads in personal care products by 2018 will have quite the same effect, I thought I should mention it.

Apparently the beads in cleansing products with microbeads are made of plastic -I don’t know what I thought they were, I just assumed something that would break down with a pH change. It turns out those microbeads are getting into the water supply where they end up in the belly of fish and other aquatic life.

I don’t recall the last time I purchased anything with microbeads in it, but I thought the Home-Ec 101 Community should be aware of this.

So, if you love all the little fishies -stop buying and using shower wash with microbeads and if you hate the little fishies, be aware you won’t be able to wreak that particular environmental havoc in this way after 2018. (Since when did 2018 become something even on the radar? I ask as I am writing updates on a plane somewhere over Texas. Living in “the future” is pretty awesome sometimes)

H/T to The Consumerist


  1. Awesomemom on June 20, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    I had heard about that a few years ago and have stuck with exfoliating body washes that have natural exfoliants in them like ground up apricot pits. I am glad that they are banning them, it seems like a very wasteful manner in which to use plastic.

  2. Ode to Mrs. Katz Cohn on June 20, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    I assumed the microbeads dissolved. I’m glad they’re going to be banned. There’s enough bad stuff out there already. We’ve got to give our environment a break.

    Thanks for sharing, Heather. Safe travels!


  3. Matthew on June 20, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Originally the microbeads were made from natural sources that would break down. It’s only more recently they manufacturers have switched to plastic.

  4. Sandy Speed on June 19, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Microbeads are also in several kinds of toothpaste as well. Dentists are now finding patients with abscesses and other teeth and gum problems have microbeads imbedded in or have migrated inside the gum line. While we as a nation were appalled by the use of melamine in baby formula from China, we were swallowing copious amounts of plastic in our tooth paste.

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