Why is there a great concern about the ‘microbeads’ that are released into environment?
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2019 Prelims]
(a) They are considered harmful to marine ecosystems.
(b) They are considered to cause skin cancer in children.
(c) They are small enough to be absorbed by crop plants in irrigated fields.
(d) They are often found to be used as food adulterants.
- Microbeads are tiny manufactured plastic particles that typically measure less than one millimeter in their largest dimension.
- These beads are mainly composed of polyethylene, although other petrochemical plastics such as polypropylene and polystyrene can also be used.
- Microbeads have a variety of applications, including use in exfoliating personal care products, toothpastes, and biomedical and health-science research.
- However, the use of microbeads in personal care products has been linked to plastic particle water pollution, which can have serious environmental consequences for aquatic animals in both freshwater and ocean water.