Microplastic Beads can enter into Food Chain

Microplastic Beads can enter into Food Chain

Over the past two decades, Microplastic beads have been added by manufacturers in an array of products ranging from cosmetics to toothpastes and shower gels. These microplastics beads, which are less than a millimetre wide, enter drain on daily basis.

Due to its size, it does not get filtered by sewage treatment plants and is able to carry deadly toxins into the animals that eat them. In fact, it can enter into human food chain through fish, mussels and crabs.

It has been noticed that cosmetic companies have increased the amount of plastic like polyethylene to the products that can be washed into the waste water system. As per a data, in the US, up to 1,200 cubic meters of microplastic beads gets washed down in the drains annually.

This act is making things difficult for humans as well as for wildlife. They are too small that they cannot be picked up from treat waste water at sewage plants. After passing the sewage system, the microplastics act as magnets for toxic chemicals like pollutants.

Once these beads get ingested by tuna, crabs then they get passed on the humans' food chain. International campaign group Beat The Microbead has named more than products having the component including Boots Essentials Cucumber Facial Scrub and Olay Essentials Soothing Face Scrub among others.

Graham Stringer, a Labour member of the influential Commons Science and Technology Committee wants a ban on it. He does not think there is need for microplastic in cosmetic products.

"Microbeads are highly potent concentrators, feeding toxins into plankton at the bottom of the food web", affirmed Professor Callum Roberts from the University of York.

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