How Your Old Contact Lenses End up in our Waterways and our Food!
- Posted on: Aug 22 2018
Continuing to honor Contact Lens Health week here at Slade & Baker Vision, we decided we needed to share this information with our patients!
Did you know how many people in America stick contact lenses in their eyes daily?
That’s a lot of contact lenses…
Have you ever thought about what happens when you throw yours away?
Imagine 45 Million people, and if they use contacts in both eyes? That’s 90 million contact lenses….
Well a recent article shares that contact lenses have polluted our waterways immensely.
Out of several of the survey participants in part of this study that contributed to the article, 19% of people were found to flush their contacts either down their sink or down their toilets. This is how their contacts end up in our wastewater.
Those millions of contact lenses turn into 6-10 metric tons of plastic lenses which have ended up in our country’s wastewater each year!
Because of the way U.S. wastewater is treated, all of that plastic ends up becoming microplastic pollution which builds up and ends up making its way into our food chain.
Insert TERRIFIED face here.
Quite the problem as the use of contact lenses continues to rise in this country…
So how do contact lenses end up in our food?
Well the materials that contact lenses are made of (we will spare you the details about polymers and silicones) get weakened when mixed with water, and they BREAK down into small particles. The particles are SO small that they don’t filter like larger plastics…
So what did we learn from this?
Those of you contact lens wearers, DO NOT FLUSH your contact lenses. Don’t throw them in your toilet or in your sink…or any drain!
Properly dispose of them in your trash! We are also seeing several contact lens recycling programs pop up which are hopeful to help our waterways (and food) as well!
Call us today if you would like to discuss getting OUT of contact lenses and having to deal with the hassle of putting them on, removing them at night, and disposing of them. We have plenty of options for you. Our number is 713-626-5544!