8 skin creams still sold despite FDA ban
An environmental watch group said Sunday that eight cosmetic brands already banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) were still being sold in Metro Manila and several major cities nationwide.
At the same time, EcoWaste Coalition said it had detected high mercury levels in 11 beauty creams in the market and asked the FDA to ban their sale as the toxic metal was dangerous to both users and nonusers of the cosmetic products.
Earlier, the group’s AlerToxic Patrol bought from July 22 to Aug. 17 imported skin whiteners from stores in the cities of Makati, Manila, Parañaque, Pasay and Quezon in Metro Manila; the cities of Cebu and Davao; and Dasmariñas and Imus in Cavite province.
Using a portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, the group found the highest mercury content in Yudantang 10 days sheep essence & ginseng & green cucumber specific eliminating freckle spot & whitening sun block cream which had 41,800 parts per million (ppm) of mercury. Yudantang 6 days green cucumber & ginseng specific eliminating freckle whitening cream had 39,550 ppm of mercury while Hengxueqian whitening set contained 21,800 ppm of the toxic metal.
The three cosmetics, along with five other products bought by EcoWaste, were included in the FDA’s list of 93 banned skin whitening products. Under the Association of Southeast Asian Nations cosmetics directive, mercury in beauty products should not exceed 1 ppm.
The five others on the list were Care Skin strong whitening and spot removing package, Gakadi freckle removing cream, Huayuenong 12 days whitening and speckle removing wrecking set, White Advance Hydroxytyrosol L-Glutathione whitening and antiaging cream, and a whitening cream in gold packaging showing a red flower with three green leaves and the label written in Chinese.
EcoWaste said that among the products it bought, 11 had high levels of mercury but were not in the FDA’s list. These were Zhjren whitening ruddy combination suit, Zhjren 7-Day beauty elegant moisturizing and whitening day cream, Erna whitening cream, White Magnolia intensive repair essence powerful spot remover, Jiaoli speckle dispelling and whitening cream, Gemli freckles cream, Jiaoli Huichunsu specific eliminating freckle cream, Feique herbal extract whitening antifreckle set, Angel placenta whitening cream, Sanli eliminating freckle cream and LMSER whitening cream.
EcoWaste warned that “users of these products were putting their own health as well as the health of the people around them at risk.”