Feeding the Fish

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 1:42 PM

Chemicals in many different cosmetics have environmental impacts that ought not be ignored. Although around 60% of the cosmetics we use is absorbed by our body, the other 40% usually goes down the drain in the shower or sink, and this can greatly effect nearby ecosystems, especially when they drain into water sources (lakes, rivers, streams, oceans, aquifers...)

Many countries, mainly in Europe, have already begun banning these chemicals due to their impacts both on individuals who choose to use them, as well as the environment around them. Formaldehyde is a carcinogen associated with immune dysfunction. The Alkanolamine family Diethanolamine (DEA), triethanolamine (TEA), monoethanolamine (MEA) are hormone disruptors. EDTA is not biodegradable and has been shown to bind with toxic heavy metals (like mercury, lead and cadmium), building up in aquatic ecosystems. Triclosan: found in breast milk, as well as 80% of US rivers & lakes. Just to name a few of the most hazardous. The environmental impact of PPCP's (pharmaceuticals and personal care products) is shown more thoroughly in the link through the image below.
The Origins and Fate of PPCPs in the Environment


When these chemicals accumulate in sewers, and eventually get deposited back into the environment where much of the repercussions exist in aquatic ecosystems. It is like our "second-hand smoke" of cosmetic use, and it is at the cost of the environment. The fish don't need our cosmetic chemicals!






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