Cleaning out expired cosmetics? Getting rid of that shampoo you didn’t love? You might be wondering, “Is it OK to pour old beauty products down the drain?” The short answer is no.
The chemicals found within personal care products “can pose health risks from ingredients like parabens (endocrine disruptors), phthalates (endocrine disruptors again), and sodium Laureth sulfate (skin irritant),” advises Grist. Moreover, the ingredients eventually make their way into local bodies of water, where they can hurt marine life.
So what’s the alternative? Unfortunately, tossing them into the trash isn’t the best plan of action, either. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, “Pharmaceuticals, personal-care products, and other contaminants are widespread in water that has passed through landfill waste.” Chemicals found include bisphenol A, cotinine, N, N-diethyltoluamide, lidocaine, and camphor.
There is a better way in communities with a Household Hazardous Waste Facility. Depending on local laws, you may be able to dispose of makeup, bath products, and fragrances here. Call Gilbert, Arizona’s Household Hazardous Waste Facility at for more information.
If you’ve accidentally dumped products down the drain and found yourself with a clog, contact Plumbing Medic! Our fully-trained technicians are ready to help.