The present story will make you think twice before using cosmetics. A new study “Eco Personal Care Product, Microplastics in Cosmetics” conducted by environmental NGO Toxic Links has stashed inflammable shock in the eyes of Indians. If you are using Indian skincare products, chances are that you might become the cause for killing lives as they may contain high concentrations of microplastics in the form of microbeads. However, the destructive thing lies in the after effect. These ‘not so harmless’ skin care products end up contaminating water quality and declining aquatic life.
The study reported that marine lives intake the disposed of microplastics misunderstanding as food particles. As a result of this, the high concentrations of microplastics eventually enter their digestive systems. Microplastics and microbeads are tiny plastic materials that are non-biodegradable in nature and hence become a life-threat to the fauna in the marine environment.
The study tested 18 different Indian skincare products from 16 major consumer brands across the country. It is reported that 28% of all the samples constituted microplastics as a constituent and 17% had microparticles. The frightening aspect here is the inference that this ‘plastic figures’ were observed the highest in face wash and face scrub products with 50% to 67% products having microplastic particles in the form of microbeads.
Microbeads are small prills of plastic found in skin care cosmetics. These little bits are so small in size (1micron to 1mm) that they don’t get filtered during water filtration and sewage treatment. These small particles block respiratory and digestive tracts resulting in choking aquatic animals to death and sometimes make way to human diets. This is why India’s Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) classifies microbeads as “unsafe” for use in cosmetic products. However, this hazard threat is being brushed away by large cosmetic brands.
This alarming study by an environment research and policy advocacy body has awakened environmentalists and wildlife welfare groups across the situation to act to the deepening situation in the most effective way possible to ignite a sense of awareness among the solidifying population of these cosmetic users.
Image Credit – Wikimedia Commons