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Micro-beads and other Nasties


Microbeads and other Nasties

Microbeads are in the news at the moment, so I thought I should blog about them.

Firstly let me reassure you that NONE of our products contain them.  (Our Gentle Facial Exfoliator contains ground almonds – yummy!).

I am glad that the Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom announced a plan to ban microbeads from cosmetic products like face scrubs, toothpastes and shower gels.

If you are worried about what is in your toothpaste – do this simple test:

If your toothpaste has visual dots of colour in it, its plastic. Pour a bit of it out into a jar of water and see for yourself what’s left after the rest of the toothpaste dissolves.

When buying a replacement, check the box to ensure it doesn’t contain “polyethylene” (a type of plastic).

However, microbeads are also found in washing detergents and other household products – which might not be banned.  This would be such a half-way measure if they are not going to ban ALL microbeads.

Microbeads are so harmful because  our waste water systems cannot filter out these tiny particles – so they go straight in our oceans. Sea creatures absorb or eat microbeads. These microbeads are passed along the marine food chain. Since humans are ultimately at the top of this food chain, it is likely that we are also absorbing microbeads from the food we eat. Microbeads are not biodegradable and once they enter the marine environment, they are impossible to remove.

So this is a start – but there are so many other pollutants and nasties going into our Seawater.

Sunscreen is one of the worst.  There is a chemical in Sunscreen, oxybenzone, that harms coral.  Also, Butylparaben (preservative), Octinoxate (sunscreen) and 4-methylbenzylidene camphor (sunscreen). In parts of Mexico they have actually banned the use of sunscreen.

However, natural and organic sunscreens are not necessarily the answer.  Unfortunately the nanoparticles in some natural and organic sunscreens from Titanium and Zinc Oxides can cause much harm to the marine ecology.  And it’s not just when you go in the sea.  As with microbeads, when you shower these particles go unfiltered through the wastewaster treatment plants and into our oceans. Some places in Mexico had even banned the use of sunscreens altogether.

This is such an important issue, but no-one apart from marine biologists and surfers seem to now about it.

Our Team, at Beyond Organic are trying so hard to find the correct raw ingredients for a sunscreen that are not only marine and environmentally safe but natural and organic as well.  At the moment, the correct ingredients are not really out there but we keep looking and keep trying.  Interestingly, I have been searching the internet for “marine safe” sunscreens and a lot of natural and organic sunscreens come up that contain nano-particles.  These are coral safe, but probably not marine safe. We wait impatiently for the manufacturers to wake up to these demands.

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