FDA urged to crack down on banned mercury cosmetics in Visayas

FDA urged to crack down on banned mercury cosmetics in Visayas

/ 05:38 PM June 25, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — Pro-environmental group EcoWaste Coalition called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday to take action against the “unchecked trade” of banned mercury cosmetics in Central Visayas.

In a statement, EcoWaste national coordinator Aileen Lucero said they found banned mercury cosmetics being sold in Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, Naga, and the Municipality of Minglanilla.

“Our latest market investigation confirms the blatant sale of FDA-banned skin-lightening products with mercury in retail kiosks and shops offering cosmetics and health supplements, particularly in Colon and adjacent streets,” Lucero said.


She added that these products are relatively easy to spot because they are displayed on the shelves of stores, some of which are located near the FDA Regional Field Office (RFO).


“We therefore call upon the FDA in Region 7 to embark on a law enforcement action in close coordination with the local government and police authorities, to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury exposure,” she said.

According to the group, it filed a report to the FDA Center for Cosmetics and Household/Urban Hazardous Substances Regulation and Research regarding this matter, and this report was endorsed to the Field Regulatory Operations Office (FROO), Visayas Cluster and the RFO “for monitoring and appropriate action.”

READ: 10 Quezon City stores called out for selling cosmetics with mercury

Based on its monitoring from June 22 to 24, EcoWaste revealed they found at least 48 retail kiosks and shops involved in the illegal trade of these banned products.

The group pointed out that contraband cosmetics, particularly those that tested positive for mercury, are considered a health risk since these have not been verified to be safe for use or quality by the FDA.


EcoWaste said these products have exceeded the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive’s one part per million (ppm) maximum limit for mercury as a heavy metal contaminant. They also exceed the 15 ppm limit for waste to be considered ‘mercury waste’ under the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

READ: Ecowaste Coalition finds high level of toxic chemical in some pet toys

On top of advocating for the elimination of these products that contain mercury and claim to lighten skin and control aging, EcoWaste reminded the public that “we are not defined by our physical looks and the color of our skin.” — Felice Nafarrete, INQUIRER.net intern

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TAGS: Cosmetics, FDA, mercurcy tainted cosmetics, mercury

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