Mercury In Cosmetics
March 8, 2012 by staff
Mercury In Cosmetics, Women in Minnesota and at least six other states may have been unwittingly slathering poison on their faces by using mercury-tainted cosmetics, the Food and Drug Administration warns.
The products, usually used for lightening skin, are sold as soaps, skin creams, and lotions. In all, the FDA has identified 35 products, most of them manufactured overseas, and most sold in Latino, Middle Eastern, African-American, and Asian neighborhoods.
Mercury poisoning can cause illness and even death. While the amounts of mercury in the cosmetics is typically low, mercury, like lead and some other poisons, accumulates in the body. Mercury is also readily absorbable through skin. It damages the nervous system and other organs such as kidneys.
Consumers could be giving themselves frequent small doses of poison that will eventually lead to symptoms like irritability, tremors, depression, memory problems and changes in hearing and vision.
The concern isn’t just for the user, either. “Mercury can vaporize and people breathe it in,” explained FDA spokesperson Siobhan DeLancey. “That makes it particularly dangerous for infants and small children. They are likely to be picked up and held close to the face. Also, they are so young, and small, and the mercury will accumulate over a lifetime.”
Not all products containing mercury will use the word “mercury” on the labels. According to the FDA, other names, like “mercurous chloride,” “calomel,” “mercuric” and “mercurio” may be listed. Some brand names include Crème Diana, Lulanjina, Fasco and Jiao Li.
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