Cebu News

Dangerous skin lightening products sold in Cebu

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Dangerous skin lightening products with mercury content are easily obtainable in Cebu despite the global phase-out of such cosmetics.

The EcoWaste Coalition made this observation after purchasing seven banned mercury-containing facial creams for P80 to P300 each from cosmetic vendors in the cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue.

In line with the findings, the group called on the local government units concerned to go after the errant peddlers of these poison cosmetics and their suppliers.

The group added that ordinances banning mercury-added cosmetics and public information drives promoting acceptance of natural skin color should be pursued to fight colorism and mercury exposure via chemical skin whiteners.

“We have gathered fresh evidence showing the unchecked trade in Cebu of unauthorized cosmetics contaminated with high levels of mercury, an extremely toxic chemical forbidden in cosmetic product formulations, in violation of national and international laws,” said Aileen Lucero, national coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition, in a statement.

Among the banned items purchased were Pakistan-made Goree Beauty Cream with Lycopene and Goree Day & Night Beauty Cream, Thailand-made 88 Total White Underarm Cream, and China-made S’Zitang 10-Day Eliminating Freckle Day & Night Set.

The group noted that at least seven stores in Colon Street, Cebu City defiantly sell the proscribed items, particularly Goree, in clear disregard of product safety regulations. Stores selling these banned items were also spotted in Manalili, P. Lopez and Progreso Streets.

The collected items were then brought to the EcoWaste Coalition’s office in Quezon City for mercury screening using a portable X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyzer, a device that can identify and quantity chemicals in a sample without sample preparation or destruction.

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