Beauty buffs warned against using contaminated Taiwan cosmetics

September 30, 2018

THE environment-advocate group EcoWaste Coalition warned consumers against buying a Taiwan-made medical facial cream as it is found to be contaminated with lead, a potent neurotoxin.

The group through its chemical safety campaigner Thony Dizon issued the warning after finding lead impurities on Top Shirley Medicated Cream, which they bought for P50 at LVD Chinese Drugstore at 999 Shopping Mall in Divisoria, Manila.

Using a portable X-Ray Fluorescence analytical device, the group detected lead reaching 2,088 parts per million (ppm) on Top Shirley. Dizon said this is way above the trace amount limit of not more than 20 ppm for lead as per the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive’s restrictions for heavy metal impurities.

“Lead is a highly toxic poison, which can be ingested or absorbed through the skin, that is why it is banned in cosmetic product formulations.  To protect public health and the environment, lead is not only banned in cosmetics, but also in gasoline, paints, toys, school supplies, water pipes, and food contact packaging,” Dizon said.

“We are worried that consumers craving to have lighter and flawless skin are being enticed to buy and use this unsafe product because of its efficacy claims and affordability,” he pointed out.

As written on the package insert, Top Shirley is the “best cream” that can “remove black heads, pimples, freckles and smooth wrinkles.”  According to the information provided, Top Shirley also “contains natural albumen and aloe base that have an effect on lightening facial skin.”

According to the US-based Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC), “lead is a well-known and proven neurotoxin that has been linked to learning, language and behavioral problems.”

To prevent exposure to heavy metals like lead and other health-damaging contaminants, the group reiterated the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) advisory telling consumers “to be vigilant against cosmetic products that might not be duly notified with the FDA.”