FDA warns of mercury in imported skin creams

CBS reports that the Food and Drug Administration has warned that some “skin creams, soaps and lotions that are manufactured overseas and sold in some US shops might contain toxic amounts of mercury.”

The story quotes Gary Coody, the FDA’s national health fraud coordinator, as saying that “many of these products are coming into the country through channels we can’t easily track, such as international mail and personal baggage.”

CBS adds that the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry reports that “mercury poisoning causes tremors, changes in vision or hearing, memory problems, depression, irritability” and other symptoms.

The New York Daily News reports that “the FDA has counted 35 potentially poisonous products, which include goods made by the brands Diana, Stillman’s, Lusco and Crema Aguamary, that are manufactured abroad and sold illegally in the US.”

The article notes that the skin products containing mercury have been found in stores catering to Latino, African-American, Asian and Middle Eastern communities.

FOX News quotes Dr. Charles Lee, senior medical adviser at the FDA, as saying that mercury “can damage the kidneys and the nervous system, and interfere with the development of the brain in unborn children and very young children.”

The story adds that “the FDA is advising consumers to check the label of any skin lightening, anti-aging or other skin product they use. If the product contains ‘mercurous chloride, calomel, mercuric, mercurio, or mercury,’ stop using the product immediately, the FDA said.”

CNN notes that Dr. Linda Katz, director of the FDA’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors, said that “FDA does not allow mercury in drugs or in cosmetics, except under very specific conditions, which these products do not meet.”

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