The Food and Drug Administration has issued a health warning to inform the public of the report of the ASEAN Post-Marketing Alert System (PMAS) on several cosmetic products.
The FDA Advisory, dated June 3, 2019, said that these products were subjected to post-marketing surveillance by the Cosmetic Control Group, Food and Drug Administration, Thailand.
The results of the laboratory analyses showed that “the products are not compliant with the technical standards set forth by the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive (ACD) as these contain ingredients that are not allowed to be part of a cosmetic product.”
Brands that were found to have ammoniated mercury were B-Plus Miracle Gold Cream, Madame Organic Whitening Arbutin, and Herbal Turmeric Herbal Cream.
Products that were found to have ammoniated mercury, betamethasone 17-valerate and clobetasol propionate were BeQuala Beauty Quality Lab, O-Ping Wink Winner Ping Whitening Cream, and Myrina Night Cream.
Brands that have both ammoniated mercury and betamethasone 17-valerate were Beauty 3 Night Cream and Polla Gold Super White Perfects.
Brands such as Melusma Melasma Brightening Cream and Ozzy Mark were both found to have contained ammoniated mercury, with hydroquinone and clobetasol propionate, respectively.
The advisory further said that “mercury is a naturally occurring heavy metal which is known to be severely hazardous to health even in small amount.”
It says, “according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the main adverse effect of exposure to inorganic mercury (e.g. ammoniated mercury) is kidney damage.”
It added that “mercury may also cause skin rashes, skin discoloration, and scarring,” as well as, neurodevelopmental deficits in children in case pregnant women and nursing mothers got exposed to mercury and, in turn, transferred it to their children.
Hydroquinone, betamethasone 17-valerate and clobetasol propionate, on the other hand, are not allowed to be part of cosmetic products as these are classified as drug products because of their multiple serious adverse effects when used indiscriminately.
Because of the hazards posed by the aforementioned products, the FDA strongly advises the public to be vigilant and to report to them whenever they see these products in the market.
Reports may be coursed through email firstname.lastname@example.org, the Center for Cosmetic Regulation and Research (CCRR) hotline (02) 857-1900 local 8107 and 8113, and the FDA online facility, eReport, at www2.fda.gov.ph/ereport.
An earlier version of this article erroneously included an image of a counterfeit mineral clay mask marketed as Pond’s Pure White Mineral Clay Mask D-Toxx Treatment.