Cognitive Data Models for Sustainable Environment - Chapter 10: Environmental pain with human beauty: emerging environmental hazards attributed to cosmetic ingredients and packaging

Elsevier, Cognitive Data Models for Sustainable Environment, Cognitive Data Science in Sustainable Computing, 2022, Pages 231-252
Kartick Chandra Pal

The beauty industry is growing at a phenomenal rate throughout the world. Daily, huge amounts of personal care and cosmetic products (PCCPs) are being used, and a significant amount of these rinsed off products flows down the household wastewater streams, which ultimately end up in the aquatic environment via treated wastewater effluents and some are retained in sewage sludge. The perseverance, bioactivity, and bioaccumulation potential of many beauty products pose an adverse effect on ecosystem. Spherical or amorphic microsized (<5 μm) plastic particulates, known as microplastic, is one of such an emerging pollutant. This ingredient is used in PCCPs as a sorbent phase for the liberation of active ingredients, film formation, viscosity regulation, exfoliation, skin conditioning, emulsion stabilizing, and many others. Once released into the environment, microplastics persist for centuries devoid of full decomposition and reenter normal biogeochemical cycles causing particle toxicity. For the packaging of cosmetic products, beauty industries jump on the bandwagon of plastic containers. Due to the intricacy in post use collections of disposed plastic PCCP-containers and removing strongly contaminated residues of greasy and creamy cosmetic products from these containers, recycle of plastic packaging is rarely applied. Therefore, on the basis of utmost necessity of awareness, this chapter provides a precise idea about the cosmetic related ecological hazards emphasizing on the overview of microplastic ingredients and plastic packaging of PCCPs that instigate a mounting environmental concern.