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Banned 14 Years Ago: China-Made Cosmetics with Mercury Still Sold Locally

China-made Jiaoli facial creams
EcoWaste Coalition draws attention to the persistent sale of China-made Jiaoli facial creams for lightening the skin despite being banned by the FDA many years ago for being contaminated with mercury.

Quezon City. The toxics watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition slammed the use of online shopping platforms to sell dangerous cosmetics with mercury, including those banned as early as 2010 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“We find it very alarming to find mercury-containing cosmetics banned 14 years ago still on sale in the market, particularly in online shopping sites, which makes the distribution and consumption of such dangerous products just a click away,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

China-made Jiaoli facial creams

Lucero was referring to China-made Jiaoli skin creams that were banned by the FDA between 2010 to 2015 for containing mercury, a highly hazardous substance not allowed in the composition of cosmetic products. As per the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive, the maximum allowable limit for mercury as a heavy metal contaminant in cosmetics is one part per million (ppm).

“We request our cosmetic product regulators and online shopping administrators to put a stop to the unlawful trade of these harmful contraband facial creams targeting women and are advertised to lighten the skin, eliminate freckles, and fade age spots, among other claims,” she said. “The only claim these products are not making is being mercury-free!”

In online test buys conducted by the group last week coinciding with the celebration of International Women’s Day, the EcoWaste Coalition managed to buy the unauthorized products banned by the FDA in 2010, namely Jiaoli Miraculous Cream, Jiaoli 10-Day Eliminating Freckle Day & Night Set, and Jiaoli 7-Day Specific Eliminating Freckle AB Set.

China-made Jiaoli facial creams

The group also bought online Jiaoli 7-Day Specific Eliminating Freckle Cream and Xin Jiao Li Speckles Removed Cream, which the FDA banned in 2015. These two products were among the 24 facial creams discovered by the EcoWaste Coalition during its 2015 market investigation in 50 cities, which the FDA tested for mercury and subsequently banned.

According to the screening performed by the group using a handheld X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) device, all the five recently purchased Jiaoli products were adulterated with varying amounts of mercury ranging from 473 ppm to 934 ppm.

The products with the highest mercury content were Jiaoli 7-Day Specific Eliminating Freckle AB Set, with 694 ppm (day cream) and 934 ppm (night cream), and the single-jar Jiaoli 7-Day Specific Eliminating Freckle Cream with 861 ppm.

Cosmetic product regulators in other countries like Brunei Darussalam, Hong Kong, Norway and the USA (California and Minnesota) have also banned Jiaoli Miraculous Cream and related products for containing mercury, which can cause adverse health effects.

China-made Jiaoli facial creams

“Adverse health effects of the inorganic mercury contained in skin lightening creams and soaps include: kidney damage, skin rashes, skin discoloration and scarring, reduction in the skin’s resistance to bacterial and fungal infections , anxiety, depression, psychosis and peripheral neuropathy,” according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Mercury-containing skin lightening products are hazardous to health,” the WHO warned.



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