Microbeads In Beauty Products Make Your Skin Oh-So-Soft, But Do They Harm The Environment?

Scrubbing down with your favorite exfoliating bodywash might never been the same again if you live in New York: Lawmakers there are pushing legislation that would ban the tiny plastic beads from personal hygiene products, saying the wee little things are ending up in our waterways.

New York would be the first state to outlaw microbeads in things like face wash, toothpaste and anything else used to scrub or exfoliate your body, reports the New York Times.

But when those beads wash down the sink, they manage to slip right through wastewater treatment plants. From there they end up in our nation’s waterways, like the tens of millions of’em in the Great Lakes, scientists say. Once they’re in the water they become coated with toxins, making them dangerous to any marine life that might be tempted to snack on them. They’ve also been found in rivers and the Pacific Ocean.

And who eats marine life? We do — which means that microbead you used to scrub your calloused feet could end up right back in your stomach. Yup, eww.

N.Y. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement that the proposal scheduled to go before the legislature today is “common-sense legislation that will stop the flow of plastic from ill-designed beauty products into our vital waters, preserving our natural heritage for future generations.”

Ban Sought on Microbeads in Beauty Items [New York Times]