Contact lenses down the drain may cause pollution

Aquatic organisms can mistake microplastics for food and since plastics are indigestible this dramatically affects the marine animals' digestive system

This is the first study that shows the movement of contact lenses through waste water and back into the surface water. At the end, the Contact Lenses Research report proposes fresh project SWOT analysis, investment feasibility and Contact Lenses investment return analysis. That's probably not a good idea, new research suggests.

Add millions of used contact lenses to the plastic waste that's finding its way into oceans and lakes. Rolsky and his co-authors presented the results Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Chemistry Society.

To understand the most influencing driving and constraining forces in the Toric Contact Lenses Market and its effect in the global market. "But I started to wonder, has anyone done research on what happens to these plastic lenses after their useful lifespan is over?"

A recent U.S. study has revealed that flushing contact lenses down the toilet is contributing to the plastic waste problem. So they made a decision to research the topic themselves.

About 15 to 20 percent of contact wearers are flushing the lenses down the sink or toilet in the United States and roughly 45 million people in the US wear contact lenses, according to the study.

"This is a pretty large number, considering roughly 45 million people in the USA alone wear contact lenses", Charlie Rolsky, one of the ASU Ph.D. students who conducted the study, said in a statement.

Americans use about $14 billion contact lenses every year. Up to 20 percent of wearers aren't tossing their old lenses into waste containers, opting instead for disposal in sinks and toilets. "That presents threats to that particular organism and anything that feeds on it".

Lenses washed down the toilet are typically conveyed to sewage treatment plants, notes the study. First off, they're transparent - making them exceedingly hard to track in wastewater.

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Further, the plastics used in contact lenses are different from other plastic waste. This material is much softer and permeable to oxygen.

"We found that there were noticeable changes in the bonds of the contact lenses after long-term treatment with the plant's microbes", said Varun Kelkar, one of the authors from Arizona State University.

If you're one of the millions of people in the United Kingdom who wear contact lenses, you may have never given a second thought about what you do when you finish wearing them.

The study said that in the U.S alone about 45 million people wear contact lenses.

Mr Kelkar said: "When the plastic loses some of its structural strength, it will break down physically".

The plastic ends up entering the food chain through earthworms, it gets into rivers and oceans when it rains, or it gets directly to waterways when treatment plants experience overflows. Contact lenses could thus lead to unwanted exposures to plastic contaminants and the pollutants that stick to their surfaces.

Bausch + Lomb has a recycling program that allows contact lens wearers to participate in either of two ways.

Those ASU researchers are also calling on contact lens manufacturers to provide product packaging information on how to safely dispose of the lenses.

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