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Posted Tue Sep 17 2013: from Chemical and Engineering News:
Microplastic Beads Pollute Great Lakes
An array of skin care cleansers on the market promise to exfoliate and unclog pores. Some of these skin-scrubbing products contain tiny beads of plastic scattered through a gel or creamy paste. After washing with these cleansers, consumers rinse the soapy stuff -- along with its teeny spheres -- down the drain, giving nary a thought to what happens to the plastic bits, which are less than 1 mm in diameter. Now, researchers are finding plastic microbeads in the Great Lakes. They say the miniscule spheres could harm aquatic animals that mistake them for food. Perhaps more ominously, they worry that the plastic balls could help transfer toxic pollutants from the Great Lakes to the food chain, including fish that people eat.
[Read more stories about: ecosystem interrelationships, contamination, plastic problems]
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