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Thursday, March 8, 2012

USFDA Warns on Mercury Containing Products and Cosmetics those can have Harmful Effects on Body

Posted by Dr Prahallad Panda on 8:13 PM Comments

Mercury is a liquid metal, excess of which can cause harm to body. The USFDA has found mercury in many products marketed as cosmetics, or beauty enhancing creams, lotions, antiseptics or soaps; which contain it many more times than the allowable limit.
Federal health officials warned consumers not to use skin creams, beauty and antiseptic soaps, or lotions those might contain mercury.
Signs and Symptoms of Mercury Poisoning
· Irritability,
· Shyness,
· Tremors,
· Changes in vision or hearing,
· Memory problems
· Depression
· Numbness and tingling in hands, feet or around mouth

The products are marketed as skin lighteners and anti-aging treatments that remove age spots, freckles, blemishes and wrinkles. Adolescents also may use these products as acne treatment.
Even though these products are promoted as cosmetics, they also may be unapproved new drugs under the law,” says Linda Katz, M.D., director of FDA’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors. FDA does not allow mercury in drugs or in cosmetics, except under very specific conditions, which these products do not meet.
How to Protect Oneself
  • Not to use the products those have the words like “mercurous chloride,” “calomel,” “mercuric,” “mercurio,” or “mercury,” in the composition.
  • Products without any label should not be used as Federal law requires that ingredients be listed on the label of any cosmetic or drug.
  • Not to use products labeled in languages other than English which cannot be read by the consumer, unless English labeling is also provided.
  • If it is suspected that product with mercury has been used unknowingly, use of the product should be stopped immediately. Hands and any other parts of your body that have come in contact with the product be washed thoroughly. Health care professional or a medical care clinic should be contacted immediately for advice..
  • Before throwing out a product that may contain mercury, it is to be sealed in a plastic bag or leak-proof container; checked with local environmental, health or solid waste agency for disposal instructions.
According to Texas health officials say samples of face cream they tested contained mercury up to 131,000 times the allowable level. And a teenager in southern Texas who used a mercury-containing skin cream was recently hospitalized for mercury poisoning.
In Northern California, a 39-year old woman had more than 100 times the average amount of mercury in her urine and had symptoms of mercury poisoning, according to the California Department of Public Health.
For three years, the woman and her husband had been using an unlabeled mercury-containing face cream that was brought into the U.S. from Mexico by a relative. Several other family members who did not use the cream, including a four-year-old child, also had elevated levels of mercury in their bodies.
Virginia, Maryland, and New York have also seen cases of elevated mercury levels in people exposed to skin products containing mercury. In Minnesota, 11 of 27 imported skin products taken from store shelves contained mercury. Photos of some illegal mercury-containing products are shown here:
This article appears on FDA website, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products.

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