THE environment-advocate group EcoWaste Coalition urged the mayors of Biñan and Santa Rosa Cities in Laguna to stop the unlawful sale of skin whitening cosmetics containing mercury in their jurisdictions.
The group through its coordinator, Aileen Lucero, made the appeal to Biñan Mayor Arman Dimaguila and Sta. Rosa Mayor Danilo Fernandez after they were able to buy the banned whitening cosmetics in the two cities.
The Food and Drug Administration banned the products due to its mercury content.
In test buys conducted on Sept. 3, the group bought in Biñan four banned products, including Gemli Glutathione Hydrolized Collagen, Jiaoli 10-Days Eliminating Freckle Day and Night Set, Mifton and S’Zitang.
In Santa Rosa, the group managed to buy banned Jiaoli 7-Days Specific Eliminating Freckle AB Set, Jiaoli Miraculous Cream and S’Zitang.
Based on the mercury screening conducted using a portable X-ray Fluorescence device, the above products contain mercury up to 3,2109 parts per million, way above the 1 ppm allowable limit under the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive.
“Recognizing the vital role of local government units in the protection of public health and the environment, we appeal to your office to take immediate action to protect your constituents, especially the women and children, from the toxic effects of mercury in cosmetics,” said Lucero on emails sent to the two local officials.
Lucero told the two mayors that “LGUs and enforcement agencies are deputized by the FDA to apprehend vendors or outlets found selling highly toxic cosmetic products to prevent further exposure of consumers and to protect the environment.”
The FDA warned that among the adverse health effects brought about by highly toxic mercury in cosmetic products include kidney damage, skin rashes, skin discoloration and scarring. Chronic use reduces the skin’s normal resistance against bacterial and fungal infections.
“Consumers who may have been exposed to highly toxic mercury in cosmetics are advised to seek professional advice or help in medical clinics, health centers or hospitals,” the FDA said.