All That Glitters

Sparkly Microbeads Face Ban




Steve Cordory/Shutterstock.com

Scientists have called for glitter to be prohibited due to the threat it poses to wildlife. The glistening, decorative, plastic microbead powder may seem harmless, but environmental researchers report it’s a dangerous pollutant, particularly in oceans. Trisia Farrelly, Ph.D., of New Zealand’s Massey University, notes, “Their diminutive size and sparkling appearance make them appealing to animals, which will eat them.”

Seven U.S. states now restrict the use and sale of products with microbeads; California was the first in 2015. The British government will ban rinse-off microbeads—plastics of less than one millimeter in length—found in exfoliating scrubs, shower gels, toothpaste and even on greeting cards.

Plastics are found in a third of all fish caught in Great Britain, according to a study by Richard Thompson, Ph.D., professor of marine biology at Plymouth University. He says of shower gel with glitter particles, “That stuff is going to escape down the plughole and potentially enter the environment.”


This article appears in the May 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

Warming Planet Will Worsen Sleep

Rising temperatures could cause six additional nights of poor sleep per 100 people by 2050 and 14 by 2099, say scientists.

Exercise Benefits Cancer Survivors

Breast cancer survivors that regularly perform moderate-to-vigorous physical activity show improved attention, memory and multitasking abilities.

Eating Apples and Tomatoes Repairs Lungs

Fresh tomatoes and fruit, especially apples, help heal damaged lungs of ex-smokers and can slow the natural decline of lung function that typically occurs after age 30.

Steam Baths Ease Allergies

Thais with hay fever that soaked in half-hour steam baths three times a week reported fewer symptoms such as sneezing, nasal itching and congestion.

Bee Venom Is Powerful Lyme Disease Remedy

Bee venom reduces the Lyme disease bacterium more effectively than antibiotics, reports the Lyme Disease Research Group, in Connecticut.

Add your comment: