De Lima urges Duterte to crack down on dangerous beauty products
Senator Leila de Lima raised the alarm on Tuesday about the continuous entry of mercury-laden skin care products in the country, urging President Rodrigo Duterte to focus on health issues like this.
“Instead of simply focusing on his unorthodox war on drugs, the President can do better by remembering that there are other important issues that require his attention. Health is a top concern that often gets neglected,” de Lima said in a statement.
The senator raised her concern after watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition warned against smuggled imported skin whitening cosmetics that are mercury-laden, usually found in budget shopping areas in Quiapo and Divisoria.
“This is a threat to public health. It’s alarming that people who are looking for low-cost alternatives to the popular and expensive brands can easily be fooled into buying the cheap products without knowing that these goods can endanger their life,” said de Lima.
On July 22 and 23, Thony Dizon of EcoWaste Coalition led a campaign by purchasing different skin care goods in Divisoria and Quiapo. He found that most products contained excessive concentrations of mercury.
Because of this, de Lima urged the government to prioritize the health and safety issues.
The senator noted that since 2010, the Food and Drugs Administration had already banned over 135 mercury-containing and unauthorized skin whitening products.
She also cited the World Health Organization’s report that exposure to mercury can have serious health consequences, including kidney damage, skin rashes, and discoloration, among others. CBB