A major issue with personal care and beauty products that no one seems to talk about is their effect on the environment. Not only is our skin absorbing 60% of the ingredients we put on it, many of these toxic chemicals also end up in our aquatic and terrestrial eco systems post use. Research has demonstrated that, through disposal and our drainage systems, personal care products can be found in surface and waste water and are therefore highly likely to contaminate the aquatic environment. This contamination is likely to pose health risks on human and non-human life.
While it would be impossible to list all of the environmental concerns that come from the multitude of chemicals found in our personal care products, it is important to discuss some of the major issues at hand.
A recent controversy has focused on the microbeads found in many conventional toothpastes, face washes and body scrubs. Because these microbeads are so small, they aren’t caught by most water treatment plants and therefore as much as 19 tons end up in our lakes, streams and oceans every year. The issue is that 1) these beads act as sponges and absorb pesticides, heavy metals and phthalates and 2) because they look like fish eggs they are commonly mistaken as food by fish and other marine animals resulting in marine toxicity through the food chain. In particular, tuna and swordfish have been turning up with microbeads in their stomachs.
A United Nations Environment Program assessment as well as the European Union, Environment Canada and the Danish Environmental Protection Agency have found that many chemicals used in personal care products have shown to bio accumulate in aquatic systems and species including BHT, DEA, Dibuytl Phthalate (DBP), triclosan and synthetic fragrances / parfums, causing acute and chronic toxicity. In particular, synthetic fragrances are especially concerning from an environmental perspective as they are persistent compounds which bio accumulate in the fatty tissue of aquatic organisms and are therefore increasingly found in fish in the Great Lakes. Additionally, 1.4-dioxane, a known carcinogen found in many personal care products, has also been shown to be strongly persistent meaning it doesn’t easily degrade and can remain in the environment long after it has been rinsed down the shower drain.
U.S researches have reported that 1 in every 8 of the 82,000 ingredients used in personal care products are actually industrial chemicals such as plasticizers (used to keep concrete soft), surfactants (reduce surface tension in water in paint) and degreasers (used to get grime off auto parts). It goes without saying that industrial chemicals are harsh and hazardous to the environment.
At KindBird Beauty we are committed to only carrying products that, are not only safe for us but safe for the environment as well. We ensure that none of our products include ingredients or manufacturing processes that, are hazardous to our aquatic or land ecosystems. Because a great majority of the ingredients used in these non-toxic products are plant-derived, they are not adding toxicity to our ecosystems after disposal or drainage. Moreover, many of these companies care about environmental sustainability just as much as we do and therefore practice using recycled and/or recyclable materials in their packaging to further cut down on their carbon footprint. These are the types of companies we should all be supporting.
The products we carry are made by companies that share our belief—that we are responsible for taking good care of the earth even as we take good care of ourselves.