Tiny Plastic Beads Are Invading The Great Lakes. Here’s What Scientists Are Doing To Stop It

Do we really need this crap in facial cleansers?  What ever happened to soap?

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/30/great-lakes-microbeads_n_4178363.html

Several months ago, scientists warned that tiny microbeads, a common ingredient in facial cleansers, were flowing into the Great Lakes, with no way to remove the potentially harmful plastic. Now, a new study provides evidence of the microplastics in the world’s largest surface freshwater source — and gives scientists a fighting chance to get microbeads out of consumer products.

“Microplastic Pollution in the Surface Waters of the Laurentian Great Lakes,” published this week in scientific journal Marine Pollution Bulletin by the 5 Gyres Institute with researchers from SUNY Fredonia, documents the existence of microbeads in the Great Lakes.

“We found high concentrations of micro-plastics, more than most ocean samples collected worldwide,” said Marcus Eriksen, who has a doctorate in science education and was the lead author on the paper. Eriksen is the co-founder executive director of 5 Gyres, a nonprofit that studies aquatic plastic pollution.

Scientist used a manta trawl (essentially, a net) to collect samples from 21 points in lakes Erie, Huron and Superior. All but one contained plastic. Much more plastic was found in Lake Erie, the most populated of the three lakes. Two of its eight samples, downstream from Erie, Pa., Cleveland, Ohio and Detroit, contained 85 percent of all the microplastic particles collected in the entire study.

At one point, they found 466,000 particles per square kilometer, with an average of 43,000 particles per square kilometer. Most of these particles, which are used in bath products to scrub skin and are meant to wash down the drain, are less than one millimeter in size.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/30/great-lakes-microbeads_n_4178363.html

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