Calapan City Stores Sell Banned Beauty Creams Laced with Mercury

Calapan City Stores Sell Banned Beauty Creams Laced with Mercury

30 May 2024, Quezon City.  Pakistan-made beauty creams that have been banned for being contaminated with mercury, a highly toxic chemical, have found their way to the “Green City of Calapan.”

During a recent visit to the capital city of Mindoro Oriental Province, the EcoWaste Coalition found at least three cosmetic product stores selling the notoriously toxic Goree Beauty Cream with Lycopene and Goree Day & Night Beauty Cream.

Beauty product stores located in Citimart Island Mall and Home City Shopping Center were found selling the banned items over the counter as if these products were authorized and legal to sell.

To prevent mercury contamination of the human body and the environment, the EcoWaste Coalition appealed to all Mindoreños to embrace their natural skin color as “every skin tone is beautiful,” and to shun chemical whiteners containing mercury and other hazardous substances like hydroquinone and steroids.

The group also urged those who have already bought the banned Goree Beauty Creams to discontinue using them, and to see a medical doctor if they are experiencing skin rashes, tingling of the hands, feet, and lips, tremors, muscle weakness, irritability, memory loss, changes in hearing and vision, and other symptoms of mercury exposure.

To recall, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) almost seven years ago issued Advisory No. 2017-289 alerting the public not to purchase and use the Goree products after testing positive for mercury, a chemical listed in Annex II of the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive, or the list of substances which must not form part of cosmetic product formulations.

Echoing the health information from the World Health Organization (WHO), the FDA said “Adverse health effects brought about by highly toxic mercury in cosmetic products include kidney damage, skin rashes, skin discoloration, and scarring,” adding “chronic use reduces the skin’s normal resistance against bacterial and fungal infections.”

“Other health effects include anxiety, depression, psychosis, and peripheral neuropathy,” the FDA said.  “The transfer of mercury to fetuses of pregnant women may manifest as neurodevelopmental deficits later in life.”

In November 2023, the FDA again issued separate advisories banning the use of unauthorized Goree Beauty Cream with Lycopene (Advisory No. 2023-2344) and Goree Day & Night Beauty Cream (Advisory No. 2023-2391), as well as Goree Gold 24K Beauty Cream (Advisory No. 2023-2392).

“The use of substandard and possibly adulterated cosmetic products may result in adverse reactions including, but not limited to, skin irritation, itchiness, anaphylactic shock, and organ failure,” the FDA warned. (PR)