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April 2017

What's In YOUR Toothpaste?

On a brief visit to Key West last month, Peter and I visited the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center. There we were able to “snorkel” with 3-D glasses that make you feel as if rainbow-colored fish are swimming into your face. Learning about the coral reefs and other native animals and plants of the southern Florida ecosystem makes a visit worthwhile. (The museum is free).

But I left the Center concerned by its current exhibit showing how we are damaging fish and wildlife by our irresponsible manufacturing, particularly the use of microbeads, tiny plastic particles made of petrochemicals, that get into our streams and rivers.   Used in our every day personal care products (toothpastes, deodorants, skincare and more), they are an environmental hazard to fish and to those of us who eat them.

In 2015, President Obama signed a bill that will prohibit the manufacture of products containing microbeads starting on July 1, 2017, and phase out sales of such products over the following two years.

Until then I’ll continue to brush my teeth twice-daily, but not without checking what’s in my toothpaste.