‘Green’ group warns of skin whiteners sold online

By : Jigger Jerusalem Mindanao Today/05:21:53pm 04/08/2021


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Some of the skin-whitening products that the EcoWaste Coalition said is allegedly laden with chemicals. (Photo courtesy of EcoWaste Coalition)


AN environmental group has warned of skin-whitening products that are laden with harmful chemicals being sold on the internet.

‘Green’ group warns of skin whiteners sold online



By Jigger J. Jerusalem



AN environmental group has warned of skin-whitening products that are laden with harmful chemicals being sold on the internet.



In its latest report, the EcoWaste Coalition has revealed the “unethical and unlawful use online shopping and social media sites to sell skin bleaching, lightening or whitening products containing mercury, a dangerous poison banned in cosmetic product formulations.”



The group conducted the investigation to generate data that will help stem both the supply and demand for mercury-containing cosmetics and promote the implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, which phased-out in 2020 cosmetics such as skin lightening creams and soaps with mercury above one part per million (ppm).

Of the 65 samples procured from online dealers and subsequently screened for mercury using an X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) device, 40 were found to contain mercury above 1 ppm. Of these 40 samples, 38 had mercury in excess of 1,000 ppm, 25 with over 5,000 ppm, 19 with more than 15,000 ppm, and 5 were loaded with mercury above 25,000 ppm. None of the 65 samples are duly notified or registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“The results of our investigation should push online shopping and social media sites to strictly disallow and monitor the use of their far-reaching platforms to advertise and sell adulterated, counterfeit and unauthorized cosmetics such as those with mercury content,” said Thony Dizon, EcoWaste Coalition chemical safety campaigner.

“To avoid being harmed by mercury in cosmetics, we appeal to all Filipinos to accept our natural skin color, refuse chemical whiteners, and resist color-based bias, prejudice and discrimination,” he said.

“The recommendations arising from the study, we hope, will contribute to the active implementation of the National Action Plan for the Phase-Out of Mercury-Added Products and the Management of Associated Mercury-Containing Wastes,” Dizon said.

To safeguard women’s health and put a stop to the unlawful trade and consumption of poison cosmetics with mercury, the EcoWaste Coalition recommended to consumers to shun chemical whiteners and embrace their natural skin color and for the cosmetics industry to move away from “white-centric” concepts and ideals of beauty, and promote diversity in beauty instead.


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