Did you know that your facial scrub and toothpaste are polluting the water?

Look for the constituents while buying your beauty products
“Hello daddy,” says a 12-year-old kid (Krish) who jumps over his dad (Dev), coming back from the badminton court.

Dev is an affectionate dad as well as a hardcore researcher working with the Government of India as a Senior Scientist. Being a single parent, he manages his work and personal life very well. He loves his only son Krish who is an energetic young lad fascinated about science and sports.

“Hello dear, How was your practice today?,” Dev replied in a compassionate tone who is as well working with his laptop.

“Yeah went really good. I won the singles practice-match against Prem,” Krish replied in an excited tone. “Coach said that my game is improving day by day,” he appended. Prem is his neighbour, classmate and his best mate.

“Wow, that’s great dear, excellent,” said Dev and still on his laptop.

“Dad, you seem so busy! What interesting paper are you working with now?,” asked Krish who not only sensed that his father is busy but also sounds interested about his study.

“Yes, dear, I am working on a topic Micro-plastics and its impact on the marine environment.

“I know plastics, what is this micro-plastics dad?”

"Smaller form of plastics is micro-plastics dear. It is present in most of our daily products like toothpaste, facial scrub and much more.”

Beware of your daily products

“Oh, really! That sounds amazing dad. I want to know further about this, please tell me about its shape, size, appearance and the effects on the environment,” asked Krish with cosmic wonder.

“Relax sweetheart, I will tell you everything but before that go freshen up yourself. There is a bowl of cut-fruits on the dining table with a glass of juice, have it and come back,” Dev replied in a concerned voice. “Meantime, I will finish this document.”

“Done, I will be back soon,” said Krish and jumped off from his dad's thigh.

Krish took a shower, dressed up and had fruits and juice. Out of curiosity, he noticed the toothpaste and shampoo very closely for any plastic particles, but he couldn't find any. He then went to his dad and pestered him to tell more about micro-plastics and he also wants to know how to find it.

“Dad, I am back. Come on tell me about it.”

“Micro-plastics, as I said earlier, is a smaller version of plastics and is available in some of the products that we use daily.”

“If it is very tiny how come we find it dad?”

“That’s easy dear, before buying a product look into it’s constituents list, if you come across certain names like micro-beads, polyethylene, polypropylene or something related to that, better stay away from the product because those are micro-plastics.”

“But do all the companies list out their constituents over their products dad? If not, how can we find out?”

“Hmm, I expected this question. There are few steps to find out dear. It’s simple.”

“What are those?”

“Relax. I can understand your curiosity. Just stay calm and listen.”


“I will go step by step so that it will be easy for you to understand. Pay attention and listen carefully.”


“Step – 1
Take a drop of facial scrub or toothpaste, dilute it in a glass of water, wash it thoroughly. Then, filter the solution with a filter paper. You can find some dust particles on the filter paper. Micro-plastics may or may not be among the dust particles. To confirm it proceed to the next step.

Step – 2
Take that dust particles from the filter paper and put it in acetone solution as it is a very good solvent.  When I say Acetone don’t think as if it is available only in chemistry labs. Nail polish remover that we use daily in our home is also an acetone solution. So add it and mix well. Again filter it, if you find the dust particles again, it is definitely micro-plastics. If you are not convinced though, you can go to next and final step to confirm.

Step – 3
Let us take another good easily available solvent, alcohol, put those tiny particles in it. Mix the solution well and filter it. If you find the same tiny particles again, simple, you are dealing with the monster (micro-plastics).”

“Wow. Interesting. Now I understood its implication on the marine environment dad.”

“Is it so? OK then can you tell me how?”

“It flees from a Recycle plant and stays in water channel forever, tiny size and insoluble nature explains everything. Fishes may misinterpret it with its food and can consume it, thereby killing it and spoiling the entire aquatic ecosystem.”

“Excellent my dear. I know you are a genius, but you surprise me with your sharp thinking and understanding whenever I say something fascinating in science,” said Dev who happily went near his son and gave him a nice hug and kissed him on his cheeks, for which Krish responded immediately, "Thank you my dear genius daddy."
Did you know that your facial scrub and toothpaste are polluting the water? Did you know that your facial scrub and toothpaste are polluting the water? Reviewed by Gowthama Rajavelu on 17:32 Rating: 5

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