Does Your Toothpaste Contain Microbeads? They Look Good at First, But a Dentist Says Otherwise!

Many products are being made with micro-beads, the tiny pieces of plastic, often less than a millimeter wide, that have become a popular addition to cosmetics and personal care products. Usually made of polyethylene, microbeads primarily serve as exfoliants in face washing products and body scrubs, but they can also be found in toothpastes, makeup, moisturizing creams and lip balms. One tube of face scrub contains about 350,000 micro-beads. Plastic micro-beads are often cheaper than other common natural exfoliants like apricot seeds, coconut husks, or diatomaceous earth. But recently, consumers and politicians have become concerned about their influence on the environment and human health.

What’s the influence of microbeads on the environment?

Microbeads are so small that they aren’t caught by most of the water plants, so they wind up in lakes, streams, and oceans. The beads, which can resemble fish eggs, are mistaken for food and ingested by fish and other marine animals. The plastic also acts as a sponge for toxins, soaking up pesticides, phthalates, and heavy metals and carry them through the food chain. Tuna and swordfish are turning up with micro-beads in their stomachs.

What’s the health influence of micro-beads?

The movement to ban micro-beads has really gathered some fuss because of concerns about their effects on human health. In March 2014, dental hygienist and blogger Trish Walraven sounded the alarm with an article about how she was finding “bits of blue plastic in my patients’ mouths every single day.” The plastic, she wrote, came from Crest toothpaste, and it was getting stuck in patients’ gums.  Now, dentists are concerned that the microbeads trap bacteria, possibly causing gingivitis. Procter and Gamble, which makes the toothpaste, insists that micro-beads are safe, but has pledged to rid Crest products of plastic micro-beads.

Source: Natural Healing Magazine

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