Dirt & Grime Not the Only Things Coming Out in the Wash—Microplastic Water Pollution  

The Canadian government has proposed a regulation which would ban the use of microbeads in toiletries by July, 2018 and natural health products and non-prescription drugs by July, 2019. The proposition is a result of mounting evidence finding that microbeads are negatively affecting aquatic life and are becoming a major source of pollution. 

However, microbeads aren't the only plastics causing harmful effects. According to the National Post:  

"U.S. researchers recently examined plastic pollution in 29 tributaries of the Great Lakes and found that 98 per cent of plastics collected were microplastics. Seventy-one per cent of these were microfibers."   

This study suggests that in addition to microbeads, microfibers may also be polluting our waters.  Sherri Mason, a chemistry professor at the State University of New York at Fredonia, says "each fiber that makes its way into the environment […] can absorb chemicals and make its way into a fish” and research is being conducted to measure the effects the fibers on freshwater fish. These findings have caused government officials to suggest that perhaps microfibers should be banned as well.