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Skin Whitening Cream Often Contains Toxic Mercury

Mike Barrett
May 18th, 2012
Updated 11/02/2012 at 6:48 pm
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skinwhiteningcream 220x137 Skin Whitening Cream Often Contains Toxic Mercury

In a not-so-recent report analyzing various skin creams, it was revealed that skin whitening cream you may be using could very well contain high levels of mercury – a toxic metal tied to numerous health problems. The news is concerning, as our current society pushes for flawless appearance, leading to the heavy usage of many consumer products.

Skin Whitening Cream Often Contains Toxic Mercury

The investigation was carried out by the Chicago Tribune, where 50 skin-lightening creams were sent out for certified lab testing. It was found that 6 of the 50 contained amounts of mercury banned by federal law. What’s more, 5 of the 6 contained mercury at levels greater than 6,000 parts per million – an amount capable of causing kidney damage over time.

The reason for such alarming levels of mercury? According to the Tribune, FDA spokesman Ira Allen said that the agency is unable to check all food, drug, and cosmetic products under jurisdiction while having less than 500 inspectors to review. “It is likely that things get past us,” he said.

Mercury is, or was, actually used in skin whitening cream to block melanin production, which gives hair and skin their pigmentation. While other chemicals can be used to achieve this block, mercury is inexpensive and effective, said Ellen Silbergeld, a professor of environmental health science at Johns Hopkins University. What’s interesting is that the Food and Drug Administration banned mercury in skin-bleaching or lightening products and other cosmetics back in 1990, but the agency doesn’t test the products to see if consumers are at risk – whether it be due to lack of resources, or any other reason.

In fact, mercury is such an issue in skincare products that the FDA recently issued a warning to consumers over mercury content of many ‘off-brand’ personal care products. According to the FDA report, the common culprits are marketed as skin whitening cream and anti-aging products. The agency also states that mercury-containing skin products were found in at least seven states, including Texas, California, Virginia, Maryland, New York and Minnesota. The FDA findings also reached similar conclusions to the independent analysis by the Chicago Tribune, with face cream tested by the agency containing mercury up to 131,000 times more than the allowable level.

Sadly, mercury is actually a huge problem not only in consumer products, but in food as well. Mercury is so prevalent that you could say we’re currently experiencing a hidden mercury pandemic; here’s some products to avoid in order to lower daily mercury exposure.

Additional Sources:

Chicago Tribune

About Mike Barrett:
2.thumbnail Skin Whitening Cream Often Contains Toxic Mercury Google Plus Profile |Mike is the co-founder, editor, and researcher behind Natural Society. Studying the work of top natural health activists, and writing special reports for top 10 alternative health websites, Mike has written hundreds of articles and pages on how to obtain optimum wellness through natural health.

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  • Gayathri Vasudevan

    There are also many medications/formulations to naturally whiten your skin – which you can prepare at home without any side effects. It is the best way to escape from harmful chemical cosmetics. It is also relevant that most skin care products costs much. But, as you are aware, formulations prepared at home can be the cheapest and effective way to whiten your skin naturally. Most home remedies can be sourced from ebooks which are sold on the internet, and most of them have many natural home made formulations and remedies described in step by step manner, so that it will be easy for you to prepare the same.