Facial scrub particles, SEM

Facial scrub particles, SEM

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This image is part of the feature Plastic Ocean

Credit: STEVE GSCHMEISSNER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Facial scrub particles, SEM. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of particles found within consumer facial scrub lotion. The large flakes are silica particles and the smaller spheres are tiny polyethylene 'microplastic' beads. The particles measuring only a few micrometres in diameter each act as exfoliating agents that help to remove dead skin cells when applied to the body. Microplastics are too small to be trapped during waste water treatment and eventually end up as in the ocean. It is thought that small marine animals ingest the microplastics and pass the pollutant up the food chain. Magnification x13,000 at 10cm high

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Keywords: bead, beads, beauty product, eco unfriendly, ecological harm, exfoliating, facial scrub, flake, micro sized, microbeads, micrometers, micrometres, micron, microplastic, microplastics, mineral, particulates, plastic, pollutant, pollution, polyethylene, scanning electron micrograph, scanning electron microscope, scrub, sem, silica, technological, technology, tiny

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