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NGT orders test of cosmetic products containing microbeads

Microbeads are tiny plastic substances measuring less than five milimetres that act as exfoliators on skin and teeth when used in soap, toothpaste and other products.

Published: 11th January 2017 07:47 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th January 2017 07:47 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal has directed the Centre to test cosmetic products containing microbeads after a plea sought ban on their use on the ground they are extremely dangerous for aquatic life and environment.

A bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim said that it is the duty of the government to ensure that no "dangerous" product is allowed to be manufactured or sold to public and directed Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) to analyse the products in laboratory and submit a report in four weeks.

"Considering the nature of jurisdiction and functioning of the respondents, we find respondent No 1 (CDSCO) which comes under the Ministry of Health and is bestowed with statutory and other constitutional duty under governance of the State and Union to ensure that no product, commercial or otherwise, imported or made domestically is allowed to be sold or made available to public which is dangerous for human use.

"If this is the responsibility of respondent No 1 then it shall be the duty of respondent No 1 to examine the products which contain the aforesaid compounds and get it analysed and file a report before us as to whether the use of such products is detrimental/harmful for human use and the measures to be taken to prevent the same... Report shall be filed within four weeks," the bench said.

The matter has been listed for next hearing on February 15.

Microbeads are tiny plastic substances measuring less than five milimetres that act as exfoliators (agents which remove dead cells) on skin and teeth when used in soap, toothpaste and other products. Many brands manufacturing beauty products use microbeads, the plea said.

The order came on a petition filed by Delhi-based lawyer Ashwini Kumar seeking complete ban on the use of microbeads in the manufacture, import and sale of various cosmetics or personal care products.

"Due to the unregulated production and usage of plastics in microbeads in various cosmetic products available in the market and the excessive usage of such products by the end users is leading to water pollution across the globe. It is, perhaps, due to these life-threatening dangers of release of microbeads into our eco-system, that there is an international campaign for ban of usage of plastic microbeads," the plea
said.

Kumar has claimed that microbeads escape the filtration and treatment processes for waste water and end up in rivers, which ultimately lead to ocean where they contribute to the huge chunk of "plastic soup" in the environment.



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