From Manila Standard:
Toxics watchdog EcoWaste Coalition said it uncovered the unlawful sale of imported mercury-laden skin whitening products in Las Piñas and Muntinlupa Cities.
EcoWaste made the discovery after being able to buy two skin whitening products already recalled by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 2010, and three other products containing excessive levels of mercury.
“Unlike other contraband goods which are usually sold under-the-counter, mercury-laden cosmetics are openly offered for sale, making a mockery of FDA’s recall orders aimed at safeguarding consumer health and safety,” said Aileen Lucero of EcoWaste in a statement.
“The FDA, with support from the city and mall management, should waste no time in deploying field inspectors to confiscate the recalled products and apprehend the violators,” she emphasized.
The FDA last month affirmed the presence of elevated amounts of mercury in 14 skin whitening products submitted by the Ecowaste Coalition for confirmatory analysis.
For test buys conducted on August 26 and 28, the EcoWaste Coalition’s AlerToxic Patrol was able to procure Jiaoli Miraculous Cream, S’Zitang 10-Day Eliminating Freckle Day and Night Set, Feique Rose Refining Nourishing Set Cream, Forever Beauty 10-Day Special Cream and Long Dian Tu Glutathione Pearl Natural Whitening Essence Cream.
Jiaoli and S’Zitang were among those banned by the FDA in 2010 for containing mercury above the allowable limit of one part per million (ppm).
The products, costing from P100 – P250, were obtained from small stores selling beauty products and health supplements in shopping malls in Muntinlupa City and Las Piñas City.
Subsequent chemical analysis of the five products by the EcoWaste Coalition on August 29 using a handheld X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) spectrometer indicated high concentrations of mercury up to 23,100 ppm.
Feique Rose Refining Nourishing Set Cream tested highest in mercury with 23,100 ppm, followed by Forever Beauty 10-Day Special Cream with 18,900 ppm, S’Zitang 10-Day Eliminating Freckle Day and Night Set with 8,754 ppm, Jiaoli Miraculous Cream with 4,779 ppm and Long Dian Tu Glutathione Pearl Natural Whitening Essence Cream with 3,660 ppm.
EcoWaste warned that exposure to mercury in cosmetic products can cause adverse health effects including skin blotching, discoloration, rashes and scarring. Exposure can also reduce skin’s resistance to bacterial and mycotic skin infections.