Banned Mercury Still Used In Many Skin Whitening Creams

I’ve seen this happening for years. Cheap, low quality skin care products, usually taking advantage of the skin whitening desire of the culture, being sold at very low prices on the back streets and market stalls all over Thailand. Even the packaging looks like something  made by kinder garden children.

The fact is, these products contain highly toxic ingredients. For the price of around $2 you can buy yourself a highly toxic product containing poisons such as mercury, often leaving many users of these products with permanent skin damage yet alone with the ‘unseen’ long term effects on health.

These products are not usually seen in the mainstream shopping malls frequented by the elite, these products are ‘back-street’ market products which are usually under the radar of the FDA and regulating bodies. These products are sold cheap to those who may not necessarily have access to information about the toxic ingredients and harmful effects.

Its shocking to me that there are people posing as legitimate companies who will intentionally hand a poisonous product to someone who most likely wont know the toxic consequences of using the product, in exchange for $2.

I’m pleased to recently see this exposed in the Thailand Media.

Here’s a report from the Bangkok post newspaper..

Banned mercury still widely used in skin creams


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Disturbingly, research by consumer groups has found that up to 20% of whitening creams studied are highly contaminated with mercury.

Judging from local TV advertising, whitening creams must be one of Thailand’s most sought-after products.

It is a highly competitive business and the cosmetic companies that sell the creams are constantly looking for new substances to make the skin look whiter and fresher.

They all should know, however, that one whitening substance to avoid is mercury. It works – blocking the production of skin-colouring melanin – but it also has nasty side effects. The prolonged use of products containing mercury can lead to inflammation of the liver, kidneys and urinary tract.

Disturbingly, research by consumer groups has found that up to 20% of whitening creams studied are highly contaminated with mercury.

The Foundation For Consumers and the Ecological Alert and Recovery-Thailand (Earth) yesterday released findings of the study after conducting experiments on 47 different kinds of whitening creams sold across the country.

Jutamas Suppradid, a researcher at Earth, said the product with the highest amount of mercury contained 99,070 parts per million of mercury, despite the fact that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) bans the use of the toxic substance in cosmetics.

Some of the products found contaminated were FC Rice Milk Cream, White Rose Sheep Placenta Cream, Best Beauty Pearl Cream and Baby Face Cream. Manufacturers have been told to remove them from the market.

Adapted from The Bangkok Post,  17th August 2012


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