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Warning Out on Mercury-Laced Sandal Beauty Cream from Pakistan with “Satisfaction Guaranteed”

Sandal Beauty Cream
This Pakistan-made beauty cream sold online contains mercury, a health-damaging chemical banned in cosmetics

Quezon City. The toxics watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition detected high mercury content in another Pakistan-made facial cream sold locally without market authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The group reported finding mercury on Sandal Beauty Cream that it bought from an online seller for P185. As indicated on the label, the product is “made in Pakistan” and “for export only” with “satisfaction guaranteed.”

To check if the product contains mercury, the EcoWaste Coalition screened the product using an X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyzer, a device that can provide a rapid and non-destructive analysis of elements present in a sample.

As measured by the XRF device, Sandal Beauty Cream contains 12,580 ppm of mercury.

This is way above the maximum limit of one part per million for mercury as a heavy metal contaminant under the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive (ACD).

Aside from mercury, heavy metals arsenic, cadmium and lead are prohibited as ingredients in cosmetics and must not exceed the ACD’s limits of 5 ppm, 5 ppm and 20 ppm, respectively.

X-Ray Fluorescence results
As per XRF screening, the sampled Sandal Beauty Cream contains 1.258 percent or 12,580 ppm of mercury.

A similar product that bears the name “Sandal Whitening Beauty Cream” — also “made in Pakistan” by MMC Cosmetics and whose packaging is similar to “Sandal Beauty Cream” — is among the products found to contain high mercury levels by US health authorities.

“The mercury in these types of products can be absorbed through your skin. Mercury can damage the brain, nervous system and kidneys. It may also damage the skin, cause rashes and blotchy spots, and give skin a grayish color,” the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene warned. “The longer and more often products containing mercury are used, the greater the health risk. These products can be especially harmful to children.”

To avoid mercury exposure, the EcoWaste Coalition provided consumers with the following health and safety tips:

  • Refrain from using skin bleaching, lightening or whitening products, and accept your natural skin color;
  • Shun products with improper labels and those with labeling information that you do not understand;
  • Reject products without proper market authorization;
  • Stop using banned or warned cosmetics; and
  • Discontinue use of mercury-added cosmetics and see a doctor for medical evaluation and advice.

The group likewise urged online shopping platforms to take down all product listings for unauthorized cosmetics, especially FDA-warned products containing mercury and other hazardous substances.


References:

https://www.nyc.gov/site/doh/health/health-topics/mercury-in-soaps-and-creams.page
https://www.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/lead/skin-cream-warningsign.pdf

EcoWaste Coalition
Let's make an eco-friendly, zero waste, and toxic-free Philippines a reality.
https://www.ecowastecoalition.org/