Officials at the New York City Department of Health have issued a warning against certain non-prescription skin lightening creams, citing elevated levels of mercury.
Many of the listed products, which are often sold at local beauty supply stores in immigrant enclaves, may contain as much as 14,000 times the allowable amount of mercury in beauty products.
The statement reads, in part:
Since January 2017, DOHMH has identified 10 skin-lightening creams from Pakistan and two medicated soaps from Spain with elevated mercury levels as high as 14,000 times the permissible limit referenced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) for mercury in cosmetics. Exposure to mercury can cause serious and life-threatening damage to the central and peripheral nervous system and kidneys. Early inorganic mercury toxicity is typically asymptomatic, but chronic exposure may lead to skin rash, paresthesia, tremors, irritability, memory loss and depression. Renal effects include proteinuria, acute tubular necrosis and nephrotic syndrome.
The Department of Health also added that it would be working with beauty supply shops to get certain products off of store shelves. Officials even urged citizens to report stores that carry dangerous products.
Products that pose a health risk include:
– Due Beauty Cream
– Sandal Whitening Beauty Cream
– Chandni Whitening Cream
– Golden Pearl Beauty Cream
– Face Fresh Beauty Cream
– Faiza No. 1 Beauty Cream
– Faiza Beauty Cream
– Seven Herbal Ubtan Cream
– Stillman’s Freckle Cream and Skin Bleach Cream