Kanebo Cosmetics and its parent, Kao Corp, have released new safety rules in a bid to prevent their products causing skin problems to users. As of the end of March, about 18,700 customers who bought Kanebo’s skin-whitening products had been confirmed to have suffered unwanted white blotches, or ‘vitiligo’, since the company announced a voluntary recall of the whiteners last July.
Because the blotches were apparently caused by Rhododenol, an ingredient that was developed by Kanebo, the new rules stipulate that the companies will give detailed explanations about the risks associated with products’ ingredients, and undertake long term trials involving a number of people before the products are marketed.
In the latest of many expected lawsuits, four women from Hiroshima Prefecture have sued Kanebo, claiming that their use of the firm’s whitening products resulted in white blotches on their skin. The four are seeking for damages of Japanese yen ¥25m-43m each. Their lawyer said that they expect more litigants to join their lawsuit. The company is also facing other similar lawsuits in the Tokyo and Shizuoka District Courts. Kanebo says it takes full responsibility for the problem and is paying the medical expenses of those affected.