By: Marites Toledo
Dangerous cosmetics containing highly toxic chemical remains rampant in Davao City despite ban of government health officials.
This was discovered by the EcoWaste Coalition after one of the group’s officers bought eight imported skin whitening facial creams in Davao City’s drug stores.
In a statement, Thony Dizon, EcoWaste coordinator, said “For the record, this is not the first time that we have found such dangerous goods being sold in Davao City.”
Meaning this was happened before.
President Rodrigo Duterte has been Davao City’s mayor for more than 20 years before he became the country’s 16th President.
Duterte’s daughter, Sarah Duterte Carpio, is now the mayor of the city, while his son, Paolo is the vice-mayor.
Dizon said the facial creams he bought were among those “banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as it contained mercury beyond the “allowable limit” of one part per million (ppm).”
“We are appalled at the ease of buying such contraband cosmetics that are heavily laden with mercury. This is a threat to public health.”
Dizon said the people have the right not to be exposed to hazardous substances that can endanger life and the environment.
Dizon purchased the products himself for P50 to P140 each from discount retailers at DCLA Plaza along Ramon Magsaysay Avenue.
He said that based on the chemical screening conducted by the EcoWaste Coalition using a handheld X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) device, six of the eight samples were found to contain mercury ranging from 391 to 2,991 ppm, way above the one ppm limit.
Among those found contaminated with mercury were six variants of Jiaoli and S’zitang skin whitening creams banned by the FDA, he said.
The other two banned products, Bihuayn and Erna skin whitening creams, however, were found negative of mercury.
According to Dizon, users of mercury-containing skin whitening cosmetics may experience skin discoloration, rashes and scarring and reduced skin’s resistance to bacterial and fungal infections, while repeated applications can cause damage to the brain, the nervous system and the kidneys, according to the World Health Organization, which has listed mercury as one of the “ten chemicals of major public health concern.”
Dizon emphasized that in order to finally bring this unlawful trade to a close, we urge the offices of the FDA and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Region XI to undertake immediate law enforcement action and bring the culprits to court.
“This will be a good test case for the FDA and the PNP following the signing last week of a Memorandum of Agreement aimed at strengthening the the enforcement of FDA-implemented health laws,” he added.