WWMT - wwmt.com - Search Results

The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Scientists: 'Microbeads' creating new environmental threat

(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - An ingredient found in some popular beauty products is reportedly creating a new environmental threat.

Scientists are finding high concentrations of microbeads in the nation's water supply, including the Great Lakes.

The tiny plastic beads are common in face and body washes and are no bigger than a grain of salt.

Scientist Marcus Eriksen says the beads soak up pesticides and chemicals after they're washed down the drain.

He says many water treatment plants can't filter out the tiny plastics, allowing them to flow into the ocean or waterways where they can be mistaken for food.

The Environmental Protection Agency is looking into potential dangers, after Eriksen and his team uncovered high concentrations of microbeads in the Great Lakes.

"Big fish eat little fish; eventually the fish is on your dinner plate," said Eriksen. "And you're eating that fish along with all the toxins it consumed along the way."

Several major cosmetics companies have pledged to phase out the use of microbeads.

Johnson and Johnson says it will eliminate microbeads from half its products by the end of next year.