Significant changes are happening in Canada when it comes to health and beauty products.  A recent ban is impacting many toiletries, including toothpaste, lotions, and skin products.  The move was put in place by the Canadian government on a bill released in 2015 in the name of environmental protection.

Kicking off on Jan. 1, 2018, all products manufactured and imported that contain plastic microbeads are officially banned.  Microbeads are spherical additives smaller than 5 mm in size used in many bath and body products.  Temporary exceptions are being made on natural health products and over-the-counter prescriptions but, by July 1, 2018, the ban will include any and all products.  Affected items include many favourite brands of body lotions and shower gels.

As part of the ban, microbeads have been listed under the Environmental Protection Act as toxic substances.  The small beads are made of plastic and non-biodegradable, and often too miniature to be filtered by wastewater treatment plants.  As a result, the beads end up in rivers, lakes, and ocean ecosystems, which can be harmful to several marine organisms.

More information on this ban has been included in the product safety section on the Government of Canada website at