Banned mercury-laced cosmetic products continue to proliferate

Dec. 07, 2016
Banned mercury-laced cosmetic products (photo by EcoWaste Coalition)

Banned mercury-laced cosmetic products (photo by EcoWaste Coalition)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — An anti-toxic waste group on Wednesday said that prohibited mercury-laced cosmetic products were being sold in stores in this city.

“We are appalled at the ease of buying such contraband cosmetics that are heavily laden with mercury. The people have the right not to be exposed to hazardous substances that can endanger life and the environment,” Thony Dizon said, coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition.

EcoWaste Coalition said it learned that the toxic beauty products were sold in DCLA Plaza along Ramon Magsaysay Avenue, when it was able to buy eight imported skin whitening facial creams at the store. The creams  were among those banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for containing mercury beyond the “allowable limit” of one part per million (ppm).

“This is not the first time that we have found such dangerous goods being sold in Davao City,” Dizon noted.

Dizon said that selling toxic products posed a threat to the public’s health.

After conducting x-ray fluorescence test, six out of eight samples were found to contain mercury ranging from 391 up to 2,991 parts per million mercury.

“Among those found contaminated with mercury were six variants of Jiaoli and S’zitang skin whitening creams banned by the FDA. The other two banned products, Bihuayn and Erna skin whitening creams, were found negative for mercury,” the Ecowaste coalition said.

The group said that users of mercury-laced products may experience skin discoloration, rashes, and scarring. It also reduced skin’s resistance to bacterial and fungal infection.

Repeated applications, according to the group, could cause damage to the brain, the nervous system and the kidneys, among others

The World Health Organization enlisted mercury as one of the ten chemicals of major public health concern.

FDA, PNP urged

The Ecowaste Coalition now urged the Food and Drugs Authority and the Philippine National Police in the region to go after the dealers of the said products.

Dizon urged the offices of the FDA and the PNP in Region XI to “undertake immediate law enforcement action and bring the culprits to court.”

“This will be a good test case for the FDA and the PNP following the signing last week of a Memorandum of Agreement aimed at strengthening the the enforcement of FDA-implemented health laws,” he added.

The EcoWaste Coalition also said they already reported the matter to the FDA headquarters in Muntinlupa City. (

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