June 19, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

Toxic watchdog group wants to stop selling highly mercury-added skin lightening products

THE toxic watchdog group BAN Toxics has once again raised the issue of the illegal trade of prohibited mercury-added skin lightening products (SLPs) in the cities of Caloocan, Manila, Pasay, Quezon, and Taguig.

In a recent market monitoring effort, the group documented the proliferation of banned beauty products such as C Collagen Plus Vit E Day & Night Cream, Jiaoli Miraculous Cream, Goree Beauty Cream with Lycopene SPF 30 Avocado & Aloevera, Goree Day & Night Whitening Cream Oil Free, Goree 24k Gold Beauty Cream, and 88 Total White Underarm Cream that are being sold discreetly and openly displayed.

The FDA has issued numerous advisories prohibiting the use and sale of the following:

1.      C Collagen Plus Vit E Day & Night Cream – FDA Advisory No. 2021-0646 and FDA Advisory No. 2023-1542

2.      Jiaoli Miraculous Cream – FDA Advisory 2012-016

3.      Goree Beauty Cream with Lycopene SPF 30 Avocado & Aloevera – FDA Advisory No. 2017-289 / FDA Advisory No. 2023-2344

4.      Goree Day & Night Whitening Cream Oil Free – FDA Advisory No. 2017-289 / FDA Advisory No. 2023-2391

5.      Goree 24k Gold Beauty Cream – FDA Advisory No. 2023-2392

6.      88 Total White Underarm Cream – FDA Advisory No. 2021-1187

Thony Dizon, Toxics Campaigner of BAN Toxics, said, “Despite the health advisories issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), beauty shop owners continue to market prohibited skin lightening products containing toxic mercury.”

Republic Act 9711 prohibits the manufacture, importation, distribution, and sale, among other things, of health products, including cosmetics, without proper authorization from the agency.

“Sellers should be aware of the dangers of mercury exposure and the violation under Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009; this illegal activity must be stopped,” he added.

Mercury, a naturally occurring heavy metal, is known to be severely hazardous to health, even in small amounts. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), kidney damage is the main adverse effect of exposure to inorganic mercury. Mercury may also cause skin rashes, skin discoloration and scarring, and a reduction in the skin’s resistance to bacterial and fungal infections.

On February 8th, the group initiated an information drive to raise awareness on the health effects of mercury and reiterate the existing public health advisories on skin whitening products. The group visited 5 beauty shops in Quiapo, Manila, and encouraged owners to remove prohibited SLPs from the shelves. As a result, the owners removed 25 banned beauty products and committed not to sell them.  

“We encourage all beauty shop owners to comply with the regulations on prohibited skin lightening products and prevent further exposure to toxic mercury,” the group explained.

BAN Toxics will launch similar initiatives in other market hubs and spearhead activities to continue working towards the goal of ending the use and sale of mercury-added SLPs in the market.