By Joe Bongiovanni
For those of you who do not know, Microbeads are those tiny plastic beads found in lotion, hand sanitizer, soaps, facial cleansers, toothpastes and many other beauty products. They are design to provide friction when scrubbing for a deeper clean. The problem with microbeads is that they get flushed down the drain, get past Water Filters, and get mixed in with the water supply. These plastics are not biodegradable and do not dissolve like many of the other wastes that go down the drain of our sinks. They slip through sewage system Water Filters because of their small size and end up in our waterways. In Illinois, these Microbeads Accumulate in Lake Michigan and are easily mistake for food by fish. After that, the contaminated fish is off to the local grocery store for anyone to purchase.
These beauty products are sold throughout the country and one tube can contain over 350,000 microbeads. Initial investigations into the scope of the problem found millions and millions of them in Lake Michigan. Not only do these plastics get into the local food chain, they also readily absorb toxins and pollute soils when sewage sludge is used as fertilizer. Some manufacturers of these products have committed to phasing out the use of microbeads and some states are considering legislation to address the problem.
Illinois gets much of its drinking water from Lake Michigan and much of the local economy is dependent on its health. The General Assembly in Springfield is proposing legislation that would prohibit the manufacturing of microbeads by the end of 2017 with sales being phased out by the end of 2018. Environmental groups say that the timetable is too long while industry experts contend that the law allows a fair amount of time to comply with new regulations. New York is also considering legislation that would eliminate microbeads in 2016 and a few companies are boasting that they will be microbead-free by the end of 2015.
This legislation is definitely a good thing, but in the meantime, our waterways continue to get polluted. The contaminants get into the water supply and can even get into your drinking water. Call Angel Water and find out how a Water Filter could help you.