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There are two major claims with regards to Microbeads:

  1. A lot of people say that they're bad for the environment, to the point that states and nations are banning them. As evidence, here's the Wikipedia page which mostly talks about how they enter the ocean and how they are being banned by various governments. A key thing missing from that page, however, is the actual evidence that microbeads go on to do bad things once they enter the environment. Yes, fish eat them, but they eat rocks, too. They're not particularly intelligent and the things that they shouldn't eat just pass through their systems. So - is there some actual evidence that they do something bad once they enter the environment? Are they not harmlessly passed through digestive systems?
  2. Companies put the beads into cosmetic products because they supposedly exfoliate your skin more and somehow clean it better. Is there any evidence that shows that the beads actually do anything to clean you better?

closed as unclear what you're asking by Oddthinking Sep 21 '15 at 3:11

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  • Welcome to Skeptics.SE. For your question to meet the standards of this site, you have to show that your claims are notable - that means giving one or more links that demonstrate they are widely believed. "A lot of people say" is not sufficient. Who says this, and is it someone whom many people listen to? – Nate Eldredge Sep 20 '15 at 14:21
  • @NateEldredge - The Wikipedia page is my evidence. If you check the references section, it links to numerous bills passed by governments and articles from news sources like CNN. They present it as fact that microbeads are bad for the environment without citing any actual studies or sources. – ArtOfWarfare Sep 20 '15 at 14:23
  • I've put this question on hold while we fix it up and re-open it. Firstly, it needs to be narrowed down to one of the two issues presented (environmental damage versus whether they exfoliate.) Feel free to open a second question for the second claim. – Oddthinking Sep 21 '15 at 3:14
  • The other part is that I spot-checked the references, and all I could find is the claim that they contribute to pollution - e.g. that they form part of Plastic Particle Water Pollution, and the nurdles in that kill krill. We should find a more direct claim so we are not tackling strawman arguments. – Oddthinking Sep 21 '15 at 3:17
  • Similarly, with the exfoliating claim. Cosmetic companies are expert at making claims that sound scientific, but are actually vacuous. Can you find examples of them making a falsifiable claim about microbeads? – Oddthinking Sep 21 '15 at 3:18

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