Assorted cosmetic products lacking product notifications and Jiachuntang Ban Gan Jing Qu Ban Shuang, a skin whitening cream with 3,802 parts per million (ppm) mercury.
A watch group working for consumer safety against potentially hazardous goods in the marketplace has alerted the public against patronizing cosmetics that have not gone through the government’s verification process.
To avoid getting ripped off and to prevent potential side effects, the EcoWaste Coalition advised consumers to shun health and beauty products that had no prior product notifications from the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).
The group made the advice after procuring from discount stores in Caloocan, Manila, Pasay and Quezon Cities last week some 80 assorted cosmetic products, mainly imported from China, which evaded the mandatory notification requirement. The group brought the samples to the FDA last Monday, July 25.
As per Department of Health Administrative Orders 2005-0015 and 2005-0025, the company or person responsible for placing a cosmetic product in the market shall notify the FDA before the product is placed in the market in line with the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive (ACD).
According to the FDA, “companies intending to manufacture, import, export, distribute, sell, offer for sale, transfer, promote and advertise cosmetic products (must) apply with the agency, prior to carrying out said activities, for the License to Operate (LTO) as Cosmetic Establishment and for Cosmetic Product Notification (CPN).”
“The proliferation of unregistered cosmetics in the market in spite of the repeated warning from the FDA against such illegal act is indeed worrisome,” lamented Thony Dizon, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect.
“Many of these products do not adhere to the standard cosmetic labeling requirements, depriving consumers of their right to basic information such as the product ingredients, usage instruction and precautionary warning if any,” he noted.
“Consumers using non-compliant and low quality cosmetics may be unsuspectingly exposing themselves to harmful bacterial and chemical contaminants and other impurities that can damage human health,” he said.
The FDA has warned that “the use of substandard and possibly adulterated cosmetic products may result to adverse reactions including but not limited to skin irritation, itchiness and anaphylactic shock.”
“Some of these products may even contain substances that are not allowed or not in conformity with the restrictions and conditions as laid down by the ACD,” he pointed out.
For instance, the group found excessive mercury content at 3,802 parts per million (ppm) in Jiachuntang Ban Gan Jing Qu Ban Shuang, a skin whitening cream, which is way above the 1 ppm limit for mercury in cosmetics under the ACD.
To promote regulatory compliance by stores selling cosmetics and personal care products, the group echoed the FDA’s appeal to the public to assist the agency in monitoring the market and to report any suspicious promotional or marketing activities for unnotified cosmetic products.
The group also reiterated the agency’s request to all local government units and law enforcement agencies to ensure that unnotified cosmetic products are not sold or made available in their localities or areas of jurisdiction.
Finally, the EcoWaste Coalition urged the government, the industry, the local government and police authorities and the public to find ways to cut the availability of unregistered cosmetics in the market to encourage demand reduction and to protect consumers from unsafe products.