MANILA, Philippines — Environmental group EcoWaste Coalition warned consumers of the continued sale of skin whitening products containing high mercury levels in cosmetic stores in the cities of Angeles and Manila.
The group said the “toxic duo” or Goree Beauty Cream and 88 Total White Underarm Cream are still available in local stores despite the ban imposed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
EcoWaste explained that the Pakistan-made Goree Beauty Cream is a face-whitening product, while the Thailand-made 88 Total White Underarm Cream is for whitening the armpit; both were not authorized to be imported, distributed, and sold.
“These illegal cosmetics are sold with impunity, offline and online, as if they are legal to sell and safe to use,” said EcoWaste Coalition National Coordinator Aileen Lucero in a statement on Wednesday.
“We urge the national and local authorities to take swift action against this ‘toxic duo’ and other contaminated cosmetics to protect our women and children from mercury poisoning,” she added.
Lucero stressed that mercury exposure among pregnant women “can adversely affect the neurological and cognitive development of children.”
Last month, the group sought the help of Pakistan and Thailand’s respective governments to stop the manufacture and export of skin-lightening products with mercury content in the country in compliance with the 2020 global phaseout of these cosmetics under the Minamata Convention on Mercury.
“Also, we urge the government, with the help of the mass media and civil society, to launch a campaign that will counter the erroneous, if not discriminatory and racist, marketing ploy equating whiteness with beauty and promote the fact that there is beauty in all skin colors,” she said.
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