The FDA has warned that Skin creams, soaps and lotions that are manufactured overseas and sold in some U.S. shops might contain toxic amounts of mercury. The products are usually marketed as skin lighteners or anti-aging creams to remove blemishes and acne creams, according to Gary Coody, National Health Fraud Coordinator at the FDA. The agency says skin products containing mercury have been found in at least seven states.
The products are manufactured oversees, but sold illegally in U.S. shops. These sales quite often are in Latino, Asian, African or Middle Eastern neighborhoods, according to the FDA. In the past few years, more than 35 products that contain “unacceptable” levels of mercury have been found by the FDA and local health officials. It’s obvious that there are changes needed in dealing with this problem.
The FDA says in order to protect themselves, consumers shouldn’t use any unlabeled skin care products, and should stop using any products that mention mercury. Any person who suspects they have used a mercury-containing skin product, should wash their hands and the area immediately and then call their doctor or local health department. The product shouldn’t just be thrown away – seal it in a plastic bag or leak-proof container and check with a local waste agency about disposal.
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