Procter & Gamble, Johnston & Johnson and L’Oreal have all pledged to stop producing products that contain microbeads, an ingredient used in many facial scrubs and exfoliators. The microbeads in question are made of plastic and have been discovered in large amounts floating in Lake Erie, the “sink” that collects runoff from the other great lakes.
The primary concerns center around the wildlife that could be consuming the microbeads, which have been known to absorb pollutants in the water and release concentrated amounts into fish and birds that consume the beads thinking they are fish eggs. Once those fish are consumed by a human, the toxins are transferred yet again, with the concentration of pollution remaining somewhat constant as it moves from one organism to another. The phenomenon of pollution spreading up a food chain is common when referring to the chemicals that are leeched by many plastics, which is one reason why plastic in the environment is such a big deal.
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