Baguio City Stores Continue to Sell Dangerous Skin Whitening Creams

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The toxics watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition has revealed the continued sale in Baguio City of mercury-containing skin whitening cosmetics despite the global ban on such cosmetics that pose a threat to human health and the environment.

“We find the sale of banned mercury-containing skin whitening cosmetics in Baguio’s central business district truly alarming, they are publicly displayed and sold over the counter, not under the table, as if these products are lawful to promote and sell.” National Coordinator of EcoWaste Coalition, Aileen Lucero said

“We call on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Cordillera Regional Field Office and the Baguio City Government to conduct immediate joint law enforcement action to stop traders from further selling these toxic cosmetics,” she said.

In test buys conducted last March 27, the group managed to obtain banned cosmetics comprising one variant of S’Zitang, two variants of Goree and three variants of Jiaoli facial creams.  The products were purchased for P100 to P250 each from a beauty product store at the basement of Maharlika Livelihood Center (MLC) and from a general merchandise store in Rajah Soliman Street.  A Chinese drug store at the first floor of the MLC and another store in the City Market were also found selling Goree products.

Cosmetics such as skin lightening creams and soaps containing mercury above one part per million (ppm) are banned under the Minamata Convention on Mercury that President Rodrigo Duterte ratified in 2020.

“To protect themselves and their families against mercury exposure, we urge consumers not to use mercury-containing skin whiteners,” the EcoWaste Coalition said, while also warning that some mercury-free skin lighteners  may contain other hazardous substances such as hydroquinone. (EcoWaste Coalition)

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