How Contact Lenses May End Up In Our Food: STOP FLUSHING Your Contact Lenses!
As Contact Lens Health week continues here at the Center for Excellence in Eye Care, we wanted to share some very interesting contact lens 411 with our patients!
Q: How many people in America do you think wake up every day and put contact lenses in their eyes?
A: 45 Million people
Take those 45 Million people, and if they use contact lenses in both eyes, make that number 90 million contact lenses total….
Q: What happens when all of those people throw their contact lenses away at night?
A: A recent article in Inverse.com found that 19% of people were found to flush their contacts either down their toilets or down their sinks.
Q: Guess where those MILLIONS of flushed contact lenses go?
A: Our water!
This same article shares how contact lens disposal has caused severe pollution in our waterways.
Have you ever flushed your lenses?
All of these millions of contact lenses we are talking about turn into 6-10 metric tons of plastic lenses which have made their way to our country’s wastewater every year!
Because of the way that we treat our wastewater in the U.S., all of that plastic from the lenses ends up becoming microplastic pollution which builds up and makes its way into our food chain.
We are thinking this is REALLY GROSS when we think about how the use of contact lenses continues to rise in the U.S. we are in store for a major problem here!
Need a little more clarification on the above, we do too.
Q: So how do contact lenses end up in our food?
A: The materials that contact lenses are made of (we will try to spare you the boring details about silicones and polymers) get weaker when they are mixed with water and are found to break down into small particles. These particles are SO tiny that they are not able to be filtered like the larger plastics in our wastewater.
Q: What did we learn from this article?
A: Properly dispose of contact lenses in your trash! DO NOT FLUSH your contact lenses down any drain. Don’t throw them in your toilet. Don’t throw them in your sink…no drain!!!
Several contact lens recycling programs have been created and are hopefully going to help our waterways (and food) as well! We are proud to announce that WE have a contact lens recycling program here at our office in Miami – The Center for Excellence in Eye Care.
Call us today if you are interested in learning more about our Contact Lens Recycling Program. This also leads us to the topic of getting rid of contact lenses in general.
Also, please call us at 305-598-2020 today if you would like to discuss getting OUT of your contact lenses. Think about the freedom of not having to deal with the hassle of putting contacts on, taking them out at night, and where to properly throw them out!
We have all options available to you!