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Health and Wellness

BALITANG TOKSIK! – Mercury-containinng Goree products available in Baguio City

Goree Products

BAN Toxics calls the attention of Mayor Benjamin Magalong after purchasing Goree Beauty Cream with Lycopene with SPF 30 Avocado & Aloevera and Goree Day & Night Whitening Cream Oil Free on a test buy conducted on July 28 in City Market of Baguio City. Both products have been banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2017 due to its mercury content.

FDA issued Advisory No. 2017-289, a public health warning against the use of unnotified cosmetic products that were tested and found to contain toxic mercury (Hg) levels beyond the 1 ppm (part per million) limit set by the FDA, and as published in the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive (ACD).

Using a SCIAPS X-200 HH XRF Analyzer, the Goree products, with prices amounting to 250 PHP each, were found to have exceeding amounts of mercury levels ranging from 73,100 to 74,100 ppm over the regulatory limit.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Fact Sheets on Mercury and Health, mercury is considered as one of the top ten chemicals of major public health concern. Exposure to mercury, even small amounts, may cause serious health problems and is a threat to the development of the child in utero and early stages in life. Mercury may also have toxic effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, and on the lungs, kidneys, skin, and eyes.

“We hope our good Mayor Benjamin Magalong will support our call to remove and confiscate banned and restricted products, especially mercury-added skin lightening creams, in the Summer Capital of the Philippines,” said Thony Dizon, Toxics Campaigner, BAN Toxics.

To recall, BAN Toxics has previously published product test buys in local markets from different provinces and through online shopping sites, to encourage the public to be aware of the proliferation of skin lightening creams which are already banned by the FDA.

BAN Toxics has pushed the Philippine government to take action to curb mercury use in the country since 2007. The Minamata Convention on Mercury was ratified by the Philippine government on July 8, 2020. It is an international agreement established to protect human health and the environment from emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds caused by human activity. Article 4 of the Minamata Convention on Mercury prohibits the manufacture, import, or export of specific mercury-added products after 2020. Under this article, all cosmetic products will be required to have mercury concentration of less than 1 ppm.

“Like Quezon City’s Ordinance No. SP-2767, S-2018 which bans the manufacture and sale of mercury-added cosmetic products in the city, we call all local government units to follow suit and craft and enforce ordinances banning the sale and use of mercury-added skin lightening cosmetics that present risk and danger to both human health and the environment, ” BAN Toxics added.

BAN Toxics
BAN Toxics is an environmental organization that works for the advancement of environmental justice, health, and sustainable development in the area of chemicals and wastes, with a special focus on women, children, and other marginalized sectors.