Call one of our locations now!

Contact Lenses and “Forever Chemicals”

Posted by EyeSight Hawaii

Contact lenses should not be disposed of in the sink or toilet as they contain plastic and chemicals that can pollute the environment

Contact lenses are a popular vision correction option that many people use to improve their eyesight. At EyeSight Hawaii we provide a full range of contact lens options for our patients.  However, it’s important to note that contact lenses themselves are not considered forever chemicals.

Forever chemicals, also known as per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), are a group of man-made chemicals that are resistant to environmental degradation. They are called “forever chemicals” because they persist in the environment for a long time without breaking down. PFAS can be found in various consumer products, industrial processes, and even in the environment.

While contact lenses do not fall under the category of forever chemicals, they can contribute to environmental pollution if not disposed of properly. Many people tend to flush their contact lenses down the toilet or wash them down the sink, which can introduce microplastics and other materials into the water system. These microplastics can have adverse effects on aquatic life and potentially enter the food chain.

PFAS are not found in contact lenses, but contact lenses can contribute to environmental pollution if improperly disposed of.
Microplastics from improper contact lens disposal can have adverse effects on aquatic life and potentially enter the food chain

To prevent environmental pollution, it’s important to follow proper disposal methods for contact lenses. Most contact lens manufacturers and optometrists recommend placing used lenses in the trash instead of flushing them or rinsing them down the sink. Some companies have also developed recycling programs specifically for contact lenses and their packaging, allowing users to send them back for proper disposal.

It’s worth noting that research is ongoing regarding the environmental impact of contact lenses, and efforts are being made to develop more sustainable options. For example, there are now biodegradable contact lenses made from materials that break down more easily in the environment. These eco-friendly alternatives aim to reduce the potential environmental impact associated with contact lens use.

In summary, contact lenses themselves are not forever chemicals, but their improper disposal can contribute to environmental pollution. It’s essential to follow proper disposal guidelines and consider more sustainable options to minimize the environmental impact of contact lens use.

We believe in protecting the environment while still providing our patients with the vision correction they need. For this reason, we urge our patients to follow proper disposal guidelines for contact lenses and consider more sustainable alternatives. At EyeSight Hawaii, we provide comprehensive vision correction options, and our knowledgeable staff is dedicated to helping you get the best care possible. Schedule a consultation today!