Alert cream contaminated with mercury
It was assumed that the antiseptic creams and soaps imported cleaned and clarifying the skin, fighting wrinkles and removed stains and freckles. However, some of these products to consumers ended up getting sick because of their high mercury content.
The government issued an alert after dozens of people in at least seven states were diagnosed with mercury poisoning, including a woman in California that required to be hospitalized after using a cream without a label for three years. Several family members also reported high levels of mercury, despite not having used the cream.
“The use of mercury can damage the kidneys and nervous system, as well as interfere with brain development of young children and babies still in the womb,” said Gloria Sanchez-Contreras, spokesman for the Food and Drug Administration ( FDA, for its acronym in English).
Hispanics are at risk
The FDA has identified dozens of products containing high levels of mercury and has taken steps to prevent them from being imported commercially. However, many of these creams and soaps enter the country by post or in the suitcases of international travelers. And once you enter the country end up in the windows of shops and supermarkets Hispanics.
People using these products are not the only ones who risk their health. Young children may be exposed to mercury vapors breathe just a skin lotion or cream after playing put your fingers in your mouth.
“It is therefore important that both consumers and vendors are aware of the dangers of mercury poisoning when using these products,” said Sanchez-Contreras.
How to prevent contaminated products
The FDA prohibits the use of mercury in both medicine and cosmetics, with certain exceptions. However, exceptions do not include creams and soaps imported from abroad. To avoid using products contaminated with mercury is recommended to take the following precautions:
Do not use without labels and ingredients
Ensure that the labels do not contain words such as “mercurous chloride”, “calomel”, “mercury”, “mercury” or “mercury”
Do not use products whose labels are written in other languages unless they contain an English translation
What to do if one has been exposed to mercury