Group lobbies for ordinance vs mercury-laden skin cosmetics

By Chito Chavez

Environmental group EcoWaste Coalition has strongly sought for the immediate approval of a Quezon City ordinance seeking stern sanctions against sectors selling mercury laden skin and cosmetic products to the public.

(EcoWaste Coalition / MANILA BULLETIN) (EcoWaste Coalition / MANILA BULLETIN)

The group has expressed alarm after it confirmed the unabated sale of banned mercury-laden skin whitening cosmetics in Quezon City.

At the hearing of the Quezon City Council’s Committee of Trade, Commerce and Industry this morning, the group informed the councilors led by committee chair District IV Councilor Irene Belmonte that contraband skin whitening products with mercury impurities are being offered for sale despite being banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The group had earlier conducted test buys to mark the first anniversary of the entry into force of the Minamata Convention of Mercury that aims to, among other provisions, phase out mercury use in an array of products, including skin lightening creams and soaps, to protect public health and the environment.

“To prove our point, we went around QC last Monday and managed to buy prescribed products for P100 to P250 each that are often sold over the counter and with receipts provided. The proposed ordinance banning and penalizing such unlawful trade is strongly justified,” stated Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

Dizon revealed that the group obtained from stores selling cosmetics, herbal supplements, and Chinese medicines at the Araneta Center in Cubao, Ever Gotesco Mall and Commonwealth Market along Commonwealth Avenue, and a retail outlet at Barangay Damayan.

Dizon presented to the councilors the purchased skin whitening cosmetics, including two variants of Jiaoli, two types of S’Zitang, and one sample each of Erna, Goree and Yu Dan Tang – all of which are not registered with the FDA and banned for containing mercury.