Toxic skin creams still sold in Divisoria, Quiapo | Inquirer News

Toxic skin creams still sold in Divisoria, Quiapo

/ 02:08 AM April 22, 2013

They come in kitschy brand names like “Miss Beauty” and “Yoko Gentleman.”

A number of stores in Manila are still selling skin whitening products already banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for having excessive amounts of mercury and posing health risks to consumers, an environmental watchdog reported on Sunday.

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The continuing defiance of their sellers is making Manila the “cosmetoxic capital” of the country and should be a cause for concern among those running for office in the local elections if they are really serious about public service, according to EcoWaste Coalition.

The group said its members were able to buy on Friday and Saturday 14 products blacklisted by the FDA, from about a dozen stores that sell Chinese medicines and cosmetics in the Divisioria, Sta. Cruz and Quiapo districts.

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This health issue should be on the agenda of local candidates, particularly those seeking seats in the Manila city council, where an ordinance proposed last year could have already “crushed the illegal trade,” said EcoWaste national coordinator Aileen Lucero.

“The electorate should ask candidates to take cognizance of the problem and act to combat this illegal trade that is making Manila the ‘cosmetoxic’ capital of the country,” she said.

Among the purchased items was a cream containing 50,600 parts per million (ppm) of mercury, way above the allowable limit of 1 ppm under the Asean Cosmetics Directive. Asean stands for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, whose 10 members include the Philippines.

Sold with impunity

Lucero noted that “dangerous cosmetics loaded with mercury are sold with impunity despite repeated health warnings by the authorities.”

These products are not only bad for the health but also for the environment, she said, “since mercury in cosmetics is discharged into wastewater that ultimately goes into storm drains, rivers and seas.”

The group cited warnings from the World Health Organization, which said inorganic mercury found in these creams could cause a host of health problems, from skin rashes, discoloration and scarring, reduced skin resistance to bacterial and fungal infections, and even kidney damage.

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The banned items, which were still being sold in the Manila stores for P15 to P150 each, included the following:

— Beauty Girl Green Cucumber Double Whitening Soft Essence Cream (mercury content measured at 50,600 ppm, banned since 2012)

— Jiaoli Miraculous Cream, Jiaoli 7-Days Eliminating Freckle AB Set and S’Zitang (all banned since 2010)

— Natural Orange Whitening and Anti-Aging Package and Yoko Whitening Cream with SPF-15 (both banned since March this year)

— Yoko Gentleman Cream (banned since 2011)

— Aichun Pawpaw Fade Out Cream

— Bai Li Tou Hong Cream

— Aichun Beauty Cream with Green Tea Essence

— Aichun Beauty Green Tea Whitening Speckle Removing Series Cream

— Miss Beauty Excellent Therapy Whitening Cream

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TAGS: beauty creams, Beauty products, Environmental Issues, Health, Manila, Philippines - Metro, skin creams, toxic creams
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