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PCG warns vs. facial cream with excessive mercury

29 December 2017

Filipinos are being warned by the Consulate against buying a facial cream that may contain excessive amounts of mercury, thus posing a health risk.

The Consulate accompanied the warning with a press release from the Centre for Health Protection of Hong Kong’s Department of Health that urged the public not to buy or use the cosmetic product, Zi Xin Mei Spots Removing Night Cream.

The appeal followed the CHP’s receipt of notification of a case of mercury poisoning from the Hospital Authority involving a female patient aged 30. The CHP commenced investigations immediately.

The patient, with good past health, has developed swelling of her lower limbs since November and provided a recent history of use of the above product for one to two months before symptoms appeared.

Her urine sample revealed a mercury level 14 280 times the acceptable reference level and this was clinically suspected to be related to the use of the product.

The CHP’s investigation is continuing, and the case has been referred to the relevant law enforcement agency for follow-up.

“Chronic exposure to mercury can cause damage to the nervous system and kidneys. Symptoms may include tremors, irritability, insomnia, deterioration of memory, difficulty in concentration, impaired hearing and vision, and change in the taste function. In severe cases, renal failure may occur,” a spokesman for the CHP explained.

 ”As the mercury content of the product far exceeded the acceptable level, its use may result in serious side-effects…Members of the public are urged not to buy or use cosmetic products of unknown composition or obtained from doubtful sources,” the spokesman said.

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