Why Obama Banned Microbeads in Personal Care Products (Video)

You start your day by combing you hair, brushing your teeth and washing your face. Don’t you just love that fresh and clean feeling that you get first thing in the morning when you wash and exfoliate your face? But wait, what are those tiny little particles that float down your sink and into your drain? Those, my friends, are microbeads.

At the end of 2015, President Barack Obama passed a Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015, a bill that bans microbeads from being included in personal-care products, including body washes, face scrubs, toothpaste, soaps and even age-defying makeups as of July 2017. These teeny-tiny beads (usually less than 5 microns in size) are typically made of synthetic polymers (plastics) that are not biodegradable.

They are hazardous to the environment, as they are too small to be filtered before entering our waterways.

They are hazardous to the environment, as they are too small to be filtered before entering our waterways. Once in our waterways, they do not ever break down so they remain in our waterways forever. There are a ton of these beads currently polluting our waterways. In fact, according to a study published in Environmental Science & Technology, there are more than 8 trillion (yes, with a T) microbeads that enter our waterways every single day! This is enough to cover the surface of 300 tennis courts each day! Eww!
Plastic microbeads absorb toxins, such as pesticides, oil and other chemicals that enter the water. They are also eaten by aquatic life and animals, and because the beads are indigestible, they lead to the death of many animals. How sad! But it gets worse! Unless you are a vegan or vegetarian, you are likely to eat fish that have ingested microbeads and other tiny plastic particles, and the toxins from those plastic materials can be absorbed into the fish and therefore into you and your bloodstream. Double eww!
But don’t worry! Just because your skincare and beauty products will no longer contain these tiny beads does not mean that your skincare regimen has to suffer. There are plenty of natural alternatives to microbeads that organic skincare brands have been integrating into their products for years. For instance, in a facial scrub, you can look for products that contain oatmeal, pumice, baking soda, sugar, and sea salt.

The bad news is that this will not take effect until well into 2017, but you can be smart about your purchasing decisions now and ban the beads in your own home. To find out if any of your beauty or skincare products contain these harmful beads, check out the International Campaign Against Microbeads in Cosmetics. Or, you can shop for natural and organic personal care and beauty products that do not contain microbeads or other harmful chemicals. Make the choice to ban the bead for your health and the health of the beautiful planet that we share.

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Krysta Shannon

Krysta is a staff writer and product review guru at YouAligned. She believes in the powers of healing crystals and essential oils, and never leaves home without them. Krysta is a true Jersey girl (in the best sort of way) who embraces a non-toxic and all-natural lifestyle.

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