Bath time: Rub A Dub Dub
We all enjoy a nice relaxing bath or a cleansing shower. It’s basic hygiene. I don’t know about you guys, but I love to exfoliate. It’s the only way I feel 100% clean, like I’ve destroyed all the gross residue of my day. I’m the type that showers at night. My grandmother and mother always said “You don’t want to take your dirt to bed with you”. Something about hopping into a hot shower, lathering up my favorite body wash on to my exfoliating brush, and putting on a nice face mask afterwards always sets me up for the best sleep.
Now-a-days there are isles upon isles dedicated to the plethora of wash products out there. With ever-changing technology comes advantages and disadvantages. And if you’re anything like me then you’re constantly tempted to try out new facial and body washes. I can’t tell you how many brands I’ve come across that have compelling packaging and promises of scrubbing away blackheads and dead skin. It seems that one of the most popular components of any wash product in the recent decade is microbread technology.
I’ll admit I bought into the hype for a while. That is until I stopped and took a little closer look. You probably didn’t realize that just by showering daily with your favorite body wash, you’re poisoning our water supply.
We’re Poisoning the Water Supply
In those exfoliating washes are these pesky little dodads that are designed to scrub away all our gross little secrets. They’re known as microbeads and as satisfying as they may feel rubbing against our bodies that doesn’t change the fact that these little balls are damaging our environment. The thing is what you may not realize is microcbeads are made of plastic.
Essentially what is happening is when wash our faces with products that utilize exfoliatants such as microbeads, the soap dissolves while those little beads we may not notice are being washed down the drain. It’s estimated that one wash product can contain anywhere around 330,000 microbeads and this plastic accounts for a little over 10% of one scrub worth.
Now the problem isn’t that you want to scrub away that grime. That’s totally understandable, same here. However, these pieces of plastic are often smaller than a millimeter which makes it almost impossible to successfully filter these bad boys out of sewage treatments. What this really means is those little exfoliating balls we love so much for erasing our blackheads, are finding their way right now into our waterways.
Fish Are Friends and Food
Do you like sushi? I sure do. I specifically like my sushi plastic-free. Last time I checked I don’t go to Japanese restaurants ordering spicy tuna rolls topped with microbeads and with a side of wasabi. This facetious, I know, however, the issue still stands that when plastics make their way to bodies of water, marine life within it are at risk of ingesting it. This planet already has an issue with plastic pile ups in our oceans. Our marine life have already been established to be consuming the plastic pollution, with microbeads being so small and unfilterable it’s definite that they line the stomachs of countless marine species. One study cites that out of 670 fish examined 35% had these pollutants in their stomachs.
Consider this if these contaminates are in the fish how long will it take for these to reach humans? Not only do we need to worry about fish eating plastic, but also about the chemicals that are used during the manfucturing process. If the additives and toxins are building up in the marine life, that transfers to whatever creature eats it. By using these blackhead erasers and exfoliating scrubs we’re slowly but, surely poisoning ourselves. Every thing comes full circle and in a way this karam. We poison the environment and it will poison us back.
There are lots of products on the market that are great alternatives to these microbread washes. All it takes is a simple change in shopping habits to stop the furtherance of pollution.