The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an updated warning about skin care products that may contain mercury, including many anti-aging, smoothing, skin-lightening, and beauty lotions and creams sold at ethnic beauty shops and online. Some of the tainted personal care products, most of which are imported, have been found to contain mercury levels far higher than acceptable limits, including one product that reportedly contained 131,000 times the acceptable limit of mercury.
According to the FDA, more than 35 products tested over the years have been found to contain levels of mercury beyond the one part per million (ppm) maximum standard for cosmetic products. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), for instance, tested 27 skin products recently and discovered that 11 of them had levels of mercury far higher than one ppm.
You can view a list of the mercury-contaminated products tested by MDH here:
Similarly, a 2010 report by the Chicago Tribune (CT) found that out of 50 skin-lightening creams tested, six contained levels of mercury so high that they are technically illegal. And just like what was found in the MDH study, the CT study revealed that most of the creams containing mercury had levels in the thousands of parts per million, which is known to cause kidney damage and other serious health problems (http://articles.chicagotribune.com).
“Many of these products are coming into the country through channels we can’t easily track, such as international mail and personal baggage,” said Gary Coody, national health fraud coordinator at the FDA’s Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA). “That’s why it’s so important for consumers and sellers to know about the dangers of possible mercury poisoning associated with the use of these skin products.”
The FDA warns that most of these products are illegal to begin with, and that many of them technically constitute “unapproved drugs,” for which the agency is permitted to step in and pull them from the market. But as it stands, many of these tainted products continue to remain on store shelves across the country, including in the states of California, New York, Virginia, and Texas.
FDA admits mercury is poisonous in cosmetics, so why does the agency say it is safe in dental fillings and vaccines?
At the same time that the FDA is warning about the dangers of mercury in cosmetics, however, the agency simultaneously insists that mercury in dental fillings and vaccines for children is just fine. Compare the FDA’s page on Thimerosal (mercury) in vaccines (http://www.fda.gov) to the one on mercury in cosmetics (http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm294849.htm), and you will see the agency’s blatant hypocrisy in the matter.
“Exposure to mercury can have serious health consequences,” said Charles Lee, M.D., a senior medical advisor at the FDA, concerning mercury in cosmetics. “It can damage the kidneys and the nervous system, and interfere with the development of the brain in unborn children and very young children.”
If this is true for the mercury in cosmetics, then it is also true for the mercury in dental amalgams and vaccines, including vaccines for influenza which still contain Thimerosal. This is why it is crucial that individuals avoid any products that contain mercury, which includes dental fillings and vaccines.
Sources for this article include: