The EcoWaste Coalition has warned the public of the presence of mercury in some 15 face creams sold in parts of Metro Manila.
Instead of clear skin like what some Filipino consumers intended to achieve, the toxics watchdog said they could end up with kidney damage, rashes, skin discoloration. and scars.
In a statement, EcoWaste Coalition said the 15 cosmetics are sold for P100 to P250 each on December 8 by retailers in Manila, Parañaque and Pasay Cities.
“We made our latest test purchase to draw attention to the urgency of effectively enforcing the ban on mercury in cosmetics in the ASEAN region and globally,” said Thony Dizon, head of cosmetics. chemical safety campaign, EcoWaste Coalition.
“Despite a global ban on their manufacture, import or export, unscrupulous traders continue to import whitening and anti-aging creams containing mercury from abroad, especially from China and Pakistan, which are also sold on online shopping platforms, ”he said.
The EcoWaste Coalition screened articles for mercury using an advanced Olympus Vanta M Series X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzer, a portable device that can provide accurate, non-destructive, and rapid element analysis.
Based on the XRF screening performed on December 9, all 15 cosmetic products were found to contain excessive levels of mercury beyond the limit of 1 ppm set by the ASEAN Cosmetics Directive and the Minamata Convention on Mercury.
Mercury, according to the group, also reduces the skin’s resistance to bacterial and fungal infections.
The group said the mercury in cosmetics is ultimately released into wastewater, contributing to mercury pollution of aquatic systems. It is also released to the environment when containers of cosmetics containing mercury are disposed of, mixed with household garbage, landfilled or incinerated.
Topping the list with a mercury content above 10,000 ppm was Goree Day & Night Beauty Cream with 25,530 ppm of mercury, followed by Goree Beauty Cream with 25,390 ppm, AQME Beauty Cream with 18 710 ppm, Feique Herbal Extract Whitening Anti-Freckle. Together with 16,280 ppm, Parley beauty cream with 15,130 ppm and Golden Pearl beauty cream with 10,430 ppm.
Collagen Plus Vit E day and night cream with 5,689 ppm of mercury, morning facial beauty cream with 3,148 ppm, Safora beauty cream with 4,715 ppm, S’Zitang with 1,961 ppm, Jiaoli 7-Day Specific have also been found to contain non-compliant mercury levels. AB Freckle Removal Kit with 1784 ppm, S’Zitang 10 Day Freckle Removal Kit Day and Night with 1755 ppm, S’Zitang 7 Day Specific Freckle Removal Kit with 1,694 ppm, Yang Qian Fashion Care Skin Strong Whitening & Spot Removal Packing with 1,177 ppm and Jiaoli Miraculous Cream with 848 ppm.
As part of its non-stop advocacy, EcoWaste Coalition has shared via its Facebook and Twitter accounts infographics informing consumers about the dangers of mercury in cosmetics for public health and the environment,
ASEAN Cosmetic Scientific Body (ACSB) previously adopted the one part per million (ppm) contamination limit for mercury in cosmetics at its 8th meeting on December 10-11, 2007, which the Cosmetics Committee of the ‘ASEAN (ACC) then approved on December 12. 13 of the same year, as well as the contamination limits of 5 ppm and 20 ppm for arsenic and lead, respectively. Mercury and its compounds are listed in Annex II of the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive, or the “List of Substances which must not be used in the composition of cosmetic products”.
As part of its ongoing advocacy, EcoWaste Coalition has shared via its Facebook and Twitter accounts infographics educating consumers about the dangers of mercury in cosmetics to public health and the environment with the following messages to consumers:
– Protect yourself from mercury exposure by not using anti-aging and whitening cosmetics that contain mercury.
– Love your skin as it is and oppose colorism (discrimination based on skin color).
– If you can not resist the lightening of your skin, only use authorized products and reject those that contain mercury, hydroquinone and other chemicals dangerous to health.
From 2010 to 2021, the FDA has banned more than 140 brands of skin whitening cosmetics that contain mercury and / or have not obtained the required marketing authorization, including more than 85 items discovered by EcoWaste. Coalition through its periodic market surveillance and chemical screening activities since 2011.
EcoWaste also urged relevant health, customs, local and law enforcement authorities to enforce the ban on mercury in cosmetics.
SUBSCRIBE TO THE DAILY NEWSLETTER
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER