An environmental health group has raised concern over an imported skin whitening product laden with mercury that is being sold in Makati and Pasay cities.
Citing information published last Sept. 11 by the European Union Rapid Alert System for Dangerous Non-Food Products (RAPEX), the EcoWaste Coalition cautioned consumers against the purchase and use of Golden Pearl Beauty Cream, a skin lightening cosmetic made in Pakistan that Sweden banned and sold locally, particularly in Makati and Pasay cities.
“This latest regulatory action against the marketing of Golden Pearl Beauty Cream should convince local users to stop spending for such a poison cosmetic that can pose serious health risks to users and to members of their households,” EcoWate chemical safety campaigner Thony Dizon said.
“The use of mercury-laden skin lightening cosmetics by pregnant women, lactating mothers, and nannies is of utmost concern as developing fetuses, babies, and children are very sensitive to the toxic effects of mercury. A pregnant woman, for instance, can pass the mercury to the fragile baby in her womb,” he added.
Sweden banned the marketing of Golden Pearl Beauty Cream after detecting mercury measured at 16.8 g/kg or 16,800 parts per million (ppm), emphasizing that “the product does not comply with the Cosmetic Products Regulation.”
The Swedish notification particularly warned that “mercury accumulates in the body and can damage the kidneys, brain, and nervous system.” It added that mercury may affect reproduction and the unborn child.
Golden Pearl Beauty Cream was among the seven mercury-laced skin lightening products screened for mercury by the EcoWaste Coalition in 2014 and subsequently submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for confirmatory analyses, Dizon pointed out.
The FDA banned the seven products through Advisory No. 2013-053-A after confirmatory tests found them loaded with “violative levels of mercury.”
Despite being banned by the FDA, Golden Pearl Beauty Cream is still sold by beauty product retailers at the Guadalupe Shopping Center in Makati City and at the Baclaran Bagong Milenyo Plaza in Pasay City as if this product is registered and safe, Dizon said.
The group had alerted Makati Mayor Abigail Binay and Pasay Mayor Imelda Calixto-Rubiano about the sale of Golden Pearl Beauty Cream and other FDA-banned cosmetics through e-mails sent on Sept. 7 and 9, respectively.