[From the web] Environmental group pushes for stricter regulation as illicit trade of mercury-added skin lighteners prevails | BAN Toxics

Environmental group pushes for stricter regulation as illicit trade of mercury-added skin lighteners prevails

BAN Toxics calls the attention of local authorities in Manila City after the group discovered the continued selling of Goree Beauty Cream with Lycopene and Goree Day & Night Beauty Cream despite a public health warning issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA advised the public against the purchase and the use of Goree products which were tested and found to contain toxic mercury (Hg) levels beyond the 1 part per million (ppm) limit. Pursuant to Republic Act No. 9711, the manufacture, importation, exportation, sale, offering for sale, distribution, transfer, non-consumer use, promotion, advertising or sponsorship of health products without proper authorization from FDA is prohibited.

Using a SCIAPS X-200 HH XRF Analyzer, the skin lighteners were screened and found to have elevated amounts of mercury up to 68,000 ppm (parts per million), way above the allowable threshold of 1 ppm.

“We call the attention of Honorable Mayor-elect Dr. Honey Lacuna and the City Council to immediately pass an ordinance prohibiting the sale and use of mercury-added skin lighteners, including unregistered and unnotified cosmetics in Manila City,” said Jam Lorenzo, Policy and Research Associate of BAN Toxics.

Mercury-added skin lightening products have been proven to have harmful effects on health and well-being. Regular use of these products decreases the skin’s resistance to bacterial and fungal infections and can cause rashes, skin discoloration, and blotching. In addition, exposure to mercury can cause damage to the eyes, lungs, kidneys, digestive, immune, and nervous systems.

The Philippines ratified the Minamata Convention on Mercury on July 8, 2020. The sale of mercury-added products is punishable by law according to the Chemical Control Order for Mercury and Mercury Compounds – DENR Administrative Order 2019-20 (CCO-DAO 2019-20).

“We urge the manufacturers, importers, and exporters of cosmetics products to comply with the 2020 phase-out period of mercury-added products.” BAN Toxics added.

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