Microbeads found in everyday products pose health hazard


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– Microbeads will be the topic of discussion in the Elm City. The tiny pieces of plastic pose a hazard to our health. This is why the New Haven Environmental Advisory Committee is talking about the issue.

Just to get everybody on the same page, a microbead is a tiny piece of plastic which can be found in many of the products we use every single day. From toothpaste to facial care products, body scrubs, even some make-ups. These microbeads end up going down our sink or shower drains and ultimately end up in our waterways.

They then become part of the plastic pollution found in the ocean. Fish then eat them. Then we eat the fish and the plastic ends up in our system.

A study that was published in “Environmental Science and Technology” in 2015 found that more than 8 trillion microbeads were making their way into aquatic habitats every single day. That same year President Obama signed a bipartisan bill that prohibited the sale and distribution of products that contain microbeads.

So you’re probably wondering what’s the issue if these microbeads are going to be banned this year. Well, there are concerns that not enough people know about this issue, especially since the damage has been done up until this point.

“The issue of making sure that people know about dangerous things pertains to microbeads. Because who knows how many people are using toothpaste with microbeads in them and swallowing them and they’ve got plastic in them. Do you want a body full of plastic? I doubt it,” said Laura Cahn, New Haven Environmental Advisory Council.

There are also worries that manufacturers that make products with microbeads could find away around the ban or people could still buy products with them in it. Hence the reason for the informational meeting.

That meeting is scheduled for Wednesday night at 5 p.m. right inside city hall. A professor from Southern Connecticut State University will be on hand to talk about the matter.