Beauty products laced with mercury sold in CDO markets

Thony Dizon of EcoWaste Coalition shows the mercury level on some beauty products openly sold in retail stores in Cogon and Agora public markets in Cagayan de Oro City on Tuesday, June 4, 2019. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/4 June) — For just P40, you can buy beauty products in Cogon and Agora public markets here that promise you to have the complexion of a K-pop star.

But there is a catch: many of these products were found to contain mercury or dangerous levels of the chemical.

Thony Dizon of the EcoWaste Coalition said mercury is a volatile element and would be harmful to the skin when used as skin lightener.

He said repeated use of mercury can have long-term effects on the human body.

“Mercury is a deadly element if abused. It can ruin your face and body instead of whitening it,” he warned.

Dizon and a team from EcoWaste Coalition went around Cogon and Agora markets last week and found retail stores openly selling the items.

He said the retail stores are selling the products for P40 to P100 despite a ban on their sale since 2017.

“We do not know why the local Food and Drug Administration allowed this. They have been informed since 2017,” he said.

He identified the products as: Benow-D New Facial Cream manufactured in Thailand; Goree Day & Night Whitening Cream Oil Free manufactured in Pakistan; and Goree Beauty Cream with Lycopene with SPF Avocado and Alovera, also manufactured in Pakistan.

The Food and Drug Administration in Manila has banned these three beauty products since Oct. 30, 2017.

Dizon said they were also able to buy 33 banned beauty products like Collagen Plus Vit E; Erna; JJJ; Jiaoli; S’Zitang and Xinjiaoli.

“It appears that Cagayan de Oro is flooded with this dangerous skin whiteners,” he said.

Since it was strictly regulated in Manila, Dizon said they noticed a huge drop in the open sale of these products in Divisoria for the past two years.

“Unscrupulous traders just shipped these banned items here,” he said.

EcoWaste urged Mayor Oscar Moreno to enforce strictly the ban on these items. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)