Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sale of mercury-laced products rampant despite ban, group says

The “Merchants of Venus,” so-called because they sell beauty products, have been defying a ban on the sale of 28 mercury-tainted skin lightening products, an pro-environment group said on Monday.

Despite repeated warnings from regulators and threats of legal action, drug-store owners have been selling 28 of the “recalled dangerous cosmetics,” said the EcoWaste Coalition’s campaigner Aileen Lucero.

Along with volunteers, Lucero said she conducted test buys of the prohibited cosmetics from February 1 to 10 and found out that they were being sold mostly in Chinese drug stores in Quiapo and Sta. Cruz, Manila and in the cities of Caloocan, Las Pinas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Pasay andQuezon City.

Lucero said she and her team succeeded in buying 13 of the 28blacklisted skin whitening products from stalls and health shops in malls.

The prohibited items include those banned in January 2010 (Jiaoli Miraculous Cream, Jiaoli Huichusu Cream), February 2010 (Jiaoli 7-Days Specific Eliminating Freckle AB Set, Jiaoli 10-Days Eliminating Freckle Day and Night Set), June 2010 (Doctor Bai Intensive White Revitalizing and Speckle Removing Set, Gemli Glutathione Hydrolyzed Collagen Whitening andAnti-Aging Cream, JJJ Magic Spots Removing Cream, Shengli Day and Night Cream, S’Zitang Cream) and in August 2010 (Beauty Girl Aloe Pearl, Beauty Girl Ginseng and Green Cucumber, Beauty Girl Olive and Sheep Essence, St. Dalfour Beauty Whitening Cream).

The results of their test buys, Lucero said, should provoke the health and police authorities to take firm actions to close down the illicit trade that constitutes direct threat to public welfare.

To emphasize the hazards of mercury-laced cosmetics, Lucero cited the “Health Alert” advisory on “Mercury Poisoning Linked to Use of Face Lightening Cream” issued by the California Department of Public Health in May 2010.

The health advisory has identified several symptoms of mild to moderate mercury poisoning due to the reported use of unlabeled, non-prescription facial cream for lightening the skin, fading freckles and age spots, and for treating acne.

In celebration of yesterday’s Valentine’s Day, coalition members went to Chinese stores at the vicinity of Plaza Sta. Cruz in Sta. Cruz and Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, both in Manila, and gave shop owners copies of the FDA’s directives recalling mercury-tainted skin whitening products. They also distributed copies of the latest EcoWaste Coalition’s poster advising consumers to stay away from unsafe cosmetics.


Post a Comment