06/02/14 - NPR recently reported Dr. Sherri Mason’s research on the
newest pollutant in the Great Lakes, cosmetic microbeads. These beads which are used in a variety of
exfoliating body scrubs, facial cleaners, and other cosmetic products are
actually tiny pieces of plastic. Lead by
Professor Mason the State University of New York at Fredonia students collected
samples of debris in the lakes by dragging a net that caught all objects
greater than a third of a millimeter.
This sampling revealed there to be approximately 17,000 of these
plastic pieces per square kilometer in Lake Michigan. Lake Erie and Ontario have higher levels of
plastic particles while Lake Huron and Superior have lower.
The concern of these bits of plastic entering the lakes revolves around
their impact to the total ecosystem. Primarily,
these beads are thought to potentially increase the level of harmful toxins
entering the food chain. These microbeads
can absorb toxins and the researchers are concerned that those toxic chemicals
could then be passed to wildlife and eventually humans as the beads are so
small in size they appear as food to many organisms living in the water.
These findings are effecting New York legislature as a ban on
microbeads is quickly rising through legislative branches. If this legislation
is indeed made law, New York manufacturers will only have until December of
2015 to completely phase out products with microbeads. This legislative change
will not only effect New York but equivalent laws are making their way through
Illinois while the other lake states are thought to quickly join suite.
Product manufacturers are urged to proactively begin creating
alternative products with natural exfoliants such as apricot seeds, sand, or
cocoa beans. Avomeen’s product
development laboratory has already helped manufacturers reformulate facial
scrubs modifying their formulations to include alternative bio-degradable
materials instead of utilizing microbeads.
Avomeen’s CEO Shri Thanedar Ph.D.
hopes more companies will realize that their products’ formulations can be
reformulated or re-engineered to remove harmful ingredients while creating an
end product that meets the same or even improved upon specifications as the
Reach out to Avomeen’s skilled chemists today for a complimentary
initial consultation and see how they can help you keep the Great Lakes clean,
protect your brands image, and keep your products ahead of upcoming legislative
Avomeen Analytical Services
Product Testing & Formulation Development Laboratory