Govt classifies microbeads as 'unsafe' for cosmetics, mulls banning products using 'major water pollutant'
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
New Delh: The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has classified microbeads as "unsafe" for use in cosmetic products, the government has informed the National Green Tribunal.
The submission was made in response to a plea 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.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare told a bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim that BIS has published a document on 16 May, "Classification for cosmetic raw materials and adjuncts, Part 2: List of raw materials generally not recognised as safe for use in cosmetics" by incorporating non-biodegradable polymeric microbeads in the banned list.
"It is submitted that this draft notification was not published by the Ministry of Health but was issued by a different department that is BIS. After this information, the affidavit containing the draft notification was placed before the Drug Controller General of India for approval," an affidavit by the Health Ministry 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.
The Ministry also told the bench that the last date for inviting comments on the draft notification is 15 July and the grievances of the applicant would be addressed by the publication of the document.
Advocate Sumeer Sodhi, appearing for the petitioner, said that voluntary step by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to ban microbeads in cosmetics would be a monumental step towards reducing water pollution.
"The voluntary step by the Ministry of Health would be a monumental step towards reducing water pollution because of plastic (marine and otherwise) and would put India in the list of one of the very few countries who have taken a step in this direction. The same has of course happened in furtherance of the cause raised by the applicant," he said.
The NGT had earlier 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.
It had 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 the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation to analyse the products in a laboratory and submit a report in four weeks.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
SC asks medical team to decide if 14-year old rape survivor can undergo abortion: All you need to know
SC directed the setting up of a team of three gynaecologists and a clinical psychologist to examine whether a 24-week pregnant 14-year-old rape victim can undergo risk-free abortion.
Coronavirus outbreak: India cancels valid visas for Chinese citizens, foreigners who travelled to China in last two weeks
The deadly coronavirus has spread to more than 25 countries, including India, where three cases of the infection have been reported
NEET 2017 counselling begins today: Fill your choices at mcc.nic.in; results to be declared on 15 July
The online registration for counselling for the admission in undergraduate medical programmes on the basis of the NEET results, will begin from 3 July