There are many ingredients in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and household products that harm the environment. The main issue lies in harmful substances being spread to our drinking water and seawaters causing harm both to humans and aquatic life.
This happens when we are rinsing off makeup, shampooing hair, or washing clothes. All the substances from the products that we rinse off or use in the washing machine are released into the waterways.
While wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) do their best to stop unwanted and harmful substances from entering watercourses, in many cases both chemicals and microplastics slip right through. Even in the most sophisticated WWTP, it is unfortunately inevitable that harmful substances are released into oceans, streams, and lakes.
The European Chemical Agency (ECHA) has classified numerous substances as “harming aquatic life with long lasting effects”.
Yet we are still able to find those and many other substances that harm the environment in the products that go into the waterways daily.
Some substances negatively affect coral reefs and cause feminization of male fishes. Others cosmetic ingredients are persistent and does not break down in nature, they bioaccumulate and cause eco-toxicity. And if the plastic pollution trend continues, the amount of plastic in our oceans, partly caused by our cosmetic products, is going to outnumber fishes in the year 2050.
The solution for hindering that the products we use become environmental hazards, is simply to avoid harmful substances and products that contain them. Our normal mode of operation causes a great risk to our ecosystems and ourselves.
The chemicals and microplastics that we release when we shower, color our hair, or clean the toilet, are in many cases not disappearing. The harmful substances that are continuously released into the environment eventually end up on our plates when we eat seafood or fish. Or they end up in groundwater or seas that eventually become our drinking water.