A toxics watch group has again reminded consumers to shun an imported skin whitening cosmetic that is sold locally after the Singaporean government alerted the public not to buy or use it due to its mercury content.
On April 20, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) of Singapore alerted consumers not to purchase or use 18 cosmetic products after testing positive for potent undeclared ingredients such as mercury, hydroquinone and tretinoin.
Among these proscribed products was Goree Beauty Cream with Lycopene with SPF 30 Avocado & Aloe Vera that the Food and Drug Administration of the Philippines and the Ministry of Health of Brunei had banned in October 2017 and March 2018, respectively, for containing mercury above the 1 part per million (ppm) limit set under the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive.
“Despite being banned in the Philippines, Brunei and Singapore, we still find mercury-laden Goree facial creams from Pakistan on sale in online shopping sites and in cosmetic retail stores in Baclaran, Divisoria, Quiapo and even in Davao,” lamented Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.
"Consumers should come to their senses and heed the warnings from health authorities, and those behind the proliferation of these injurious goods in the market should stop at once," he said.
In tests conducted in February this year, the group detected 25,300 ppm of mercury in one Goree Beauty Cream with Lycopene with SPF 30 Avocado & Aloe Vera, and 21,800 ppm of mercury in another Goree Day & Night Whitening Cream.
Aside from these Goree products, the EcoWaste Coalition has tracked the unlawful sale of other mercury-tainted cosmetics from Pakistan in Pasay City, including Aneeza Gold Beauty Cream, Aneeza Saffron Whitening Cream, Face Lift Whitening Beauty Cream, Golden Pearl Beauty Cream, Parley Beauty Cream, and Parley Whitening Cream.
“It’s important for the customs, health and police authorities to take combined law enforcement actions now against the unscrupulous importers, distributors and sellers of these dangerous cosmetics to protect the public health and the environment,” Dizon said.
According to HSA’s health alert, “mercury is a toxic heavy metal and is prohibited for use as an ingredient in cosmetic products.”
“Regular application of creams containing mercury could lead to rash, skin discoloration and blotching while long-term exposure to high levels of mercury in cosmetic products can cause serious health consequences, including damage to the kidneys, digestive and nervous systems,” the agency warned.
HSA advised consumers to stop using Goree and the other 17 cosmetic products immediately and discard them as they contain high levels of mercury or other undeclared potent ingredients that can lead to serious adverse reactions.
The agency also warned that suppliers of illegal health products are liable to prosecution and if convicted, may be imprisoned for up to 3 years and/or fined up to Singaporean $100,000.
https://ww2.fda.gov.ph/index.p hp/advisories-2/cosmetic-2/472 052-fda-advisory-no-2017-289
http://www.hsa.gov.sg/content/ dam/HSA/News_and_Events/Press_ Releases/2018/PR%2018%20cosmet ic%20pdts%20PQS%20final.pdf
http://www.hsa.gov.sg/content/ hsa/en/News_Events/Press_Relea ses/2018/18cosmeticproducts.ht ml