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Report alerts to websites selling harmful skin-whitening creams

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A new research has alerted that harmful skin-whitening products laced with Mercury, a highly poisonous substance-are still widely available for purchase in shops and online, despite being banned by governments.

The research was conducted by a global alliance of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) working to eliminate Mercury pollution. 

Testing in 2019 revealed that 95 of the 158 products purchased in the 12 sampling countries exceeded the legal limit of one part per million (ppm), with Mercury levels ranging from 40 ppm to over 130,000 ppm.

Over two-thirds (65 of the 95) of those were bought online from Internet marketers as Amazon, eBay, BidorBuy, Lazada, Daraz, Flipkart and Jumia.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) had warned that, “the main adverse effect of the inorganic Mercury in skin lightening soaps and creams is kidney damage.”

“Mercury in skin lightening products may also cause skin rashes, skin discoloration and scarring, as well as reduction in the skin’s resistance to bacterial and fungal infections.”

Project Manager at the European Environmental Bureau and International Co-coordinator of the Zero Mercury Working Group (ZMWG), Elena Lymberidi-Settimo said: “Mercury is a dangerous neurotoxin, which must be effectively controlled. Internet retailers like Amazon and eBay should stop these Illegal products from being sold on their sites, as they have recently pledged to do in the EU.”


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