EcoWaste: Reject banned, mercury-laden whitening products in CdO
MANILA, Philippines – Pro-environment and health group EcoWaste Coalition on Tuesday warned the public that whitening products with high levels of mercury are being sold in some outlets in Cagayan de Oro City.
In a statement, EcoWaste said whitening creams banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are being sold at the Angel Chavez Complex, Cogon Market and Agora Market.
“To our disbelief and dismay, FDA-banned skin whitening cosmetics are sold over the counter in CdO as if these products are legal to sell and safe to use. Health experts have repeatedly warned that mercury-containing skin whiteners are hazardous to health,” EcoWaste’s chemical safety campaigner Thony Dizon said.
EcoWaste identified the mercury-laden facial creams as Collagen Plus Vit E, Erna, Goree, JJJ, Jiaoli, S’Zitang and Xinjiaoli which are sold for P40 to P300 each.
Using a portable X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) device, the EcoWaste detected mercury in the said products, ranging from 125 to 22,700 parts per million (ppm), exceeding the maximum allowable limit of 1 ppm.
Among the adverse effects of mercury in cosmetic products are kidney damage, skin rashes, skin discoloration and scarring, the FDA and the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
Other symptoms of mercury exposure also include depression, drowsiness, exhaustion, hair loss, inflamed gums, irritability, memory loss, anxiety, rashes, sleeplessness, tingling of the extremities, tremors and weakness.
Dizon pressed Cagayan De Oro’s local government unit to stop the unlawful sale of the banned skin whitening products.
“To protect the public against mercury exposure and to prevent mercury contamination of the environment, we request the city government to stop the sale of these poison cosmetics,” Dizon said. (Editor: Gilbert S. Gaviola)
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