(Pasay LGU urged to crack whip)
September 22, 2022, Quezon City. The watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition has called out some Pasay City cosmetics stores for selling face creams that have long been banned for containing mercury, a highly toxic chemical that is not allowed in cosmetic product formulations.
“The continued sale of banned Goree mercury-containing beauty creams makes a mockery of the local government’s slogan ‘sa Pasay, bawal ang pasaway’,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.
“We call on local government, health and law enforcement authorities to break the whip, confiscate these dangerous cosmetics and destroy them in an environmentally friendly way,” she added.
As observed by the group during its eye surveillance on September 18, 2022, banned Goree products are openly displayed and sold with impunity for as little as P180/unit in cosmetics stores on the premises of Baclaran LRT Terminal Plaza Mall, Two Shopping Center, Victory Pasay Mall and Wellcome Plaza.
Through a public health warning issued in 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advised consumers not to purchase and use said Goree products to contain mercury above the regulatory limit of one part per million (ppm), the upper limit for mercury as a contaminant. under the ASEAN Cosmetics Directive.
The establishments concerned were also reminded not to distribute non-compliant products. “Otherwise, regulatory actions and penalties must be strictly pursued,” the FDA warned.
In addition to the Philippines, the governments of the United Kingdom in 2013, Brunei in 2018, Singapore in 2018, Bangladesh in 2020 and New Zealand in 2021 took action against Goree products loaded with mercury.
In July this year, the Bangladesh Standards and Testing InstItution (BSTI), a government agency, banned Goree Beauty Cream with Lycopene and 16 other products for containing excessive levels of mercury.
Rashes, discoloration, and scarring as well as decreased skin resistance to bacterial and fungal infections are some of the health effects of using mercury-containing skin lightening products.
Repeated applications of such products can damage the brain, nervous system and kidneys.
The EcoWaste Coalition notified Mayor Imelda Calixto-Rubiano’s office on Monday of the public health threat.
“As these products pose serious health risks to consumers, we ask your kind administration to carry out immediate legal operations and seize the offending products like what local authorities in Baguio City and Quezon City have done,” said declared the group to the mayor.
In July and August of this year, designated personnel from the cities of Baguio and Quezon inspected several stores selling unauthorized cosmetics and other FDA-regulated health products following reports sent by the EcoWaste Coalition to Mayors Benjamin Magalong and Joy Belmonte.
Source of publication: Online journal