Philippines watchdog raises alarm over ‘mercury laden’ cosmetics


The EcoWaste Coalition bought 12 skin whitening creams online and found that they contained the toxic element mercury

A watchdog in the Philippines is warning consumers about the dangers of buying cosmetics from third party sellers on e-commerce websites, after it purchased 12 ‘mercury laden’ skin whitening creams online.

EcoWaste Coalition ordered 14 items from sellers in Baguio City, Davao City, and the National Capital Region, all of which were not registered with the FDA Philippines and not legally allowed to be distributed in the Philippines.

Mercury was found to exceed the trace amount limit of 1ppm in 12 of the products, with some even promoting that they do not contain harmful ingredients and are safe for use by pregnant women.

Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition, said: “Cosmetics laden with mercury are alarmingly being sold online as the results of our test buys would show.

“The wide circulation of these dangerous cosmetics through e-commerce is a menace to public health and the environment as the production, consumption, and disposal of such products can contribute to mercury pollution.”

The biggest offender was Ailkye Boost Luster Superior Whitening, which contained 31,100ppm of mercury.

Other products containing the highest levels of the toxic element included: Ailkye Perfection Salvation Rosy Whitening A + B Set (30,200 ppm), Goree Beauty Cream with Lycopene with SPF 30 Avocado & Aloe Vera (20,000 ppm), Aneeza Saffron Whitening Cream (11,900ppm), among others.

It was also discovered that six of the products are already banned by the FDA Philippines for containing mercury or lacking the required cosmetic product notifications.

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