Health Policy

WHO warning on mercury-laced cosmetics

The global health watchdog World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued a warning against skin ligh-tening soaps, creams and cosmetics like eye makeup, cleansing products and mascara, saying they could be containing mercury.
The warning is serious, especially for Indians, as WHO said 61% of the dermatological market here consists of skin lightening products. mercury, which is readily absorbed through the skin, can damage the kidneys and the nervous system.
It can also interfere with the development of the brain in unborn children and young children.
People, particularly children can get mercury into their bodies if a member of the household uses skin creams or soaps, containing mercury.

Pregnant women who consume fish containing methylmercury transfer the mercury to their fetuses that can later result in neurological deficits in children.
Cosmetic products containing such impurities/contaminants that are way beyond the allowable limit clearly pose imminent danger of injury to the consuming public.

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