By Analou De Vera
The EcoWaste Coalition, an environmental watch group, is urging the city government of Manila to “take action” against retailers of banned mercury-laced skin whitening products in the capital city.
“We call upon the local government, health, and police authorities of the City of Manila to go after unscrupulous retailers of banned cosmetics contaminated with mercury, a chemical that is highly hazardous to health and the environment,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.
The group said that it recently conducted test-buys and were able to purchase Jiaoli Miraculous Cream and S’Zitang 10 Days Eliminating Freckle Day & Night Set from stalls selling beauty products and herbal food supplements at a shopping mall in Recto Avenue, Quiapo in Manila.
“With the help of a handheld X-Ray Fluorescence spectrometer, the group detected 2,077 parts per million (ppm) in the day cream of the Jiaoli product and 311 ppm in its night cream,” the group said.
“For the S’Zitang product, the day cream had 2,879 ppm of mercury and the night cream had 1,566 ppm,” it added.
The Food and Drug Administration earlier requested local government units and law enforcement agencies “to ensure that these products are not sold or made available in their localities or areas of jurisdiction.”
According to the FDA, “adverse health effects brought about by highly toxic mercury in cosmetic products include kidney damage, skin rashes, skin discoloration, and scarring. Chronic use reduces the skin’s normal resistance against bacterial and fungal infections.”