Consumers Warned Against Cosmetics Contaminated with Toxic Lead and Mercury

22 of the 24 skin whitening facial creams laden with mercury (above); 3 lipsticks laced with lead (below)
The EcoWaste Coalition, an environmental and health
watchdog, urged consumers not to patronize the 37 unregistered cosmetics
recently banned by the government, including 28 products that tested positive
for toxic lead and mercury.
The 37 cosmetics products, all illegal imports, were
submitted by the EcoWaste Coalition to the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA)
for confirmatory analysis and subsequently banned under FDA Advisory 2015-025.
The group obtained the contraband goods from mainland
China, Hong Kong and Indonesia during a nationwide market investigation
supported by IPEN, a global civil society network promoting safer chemicals
policies and practices, to gather evidence to back the early ratification and
implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury.
The group bought the samples from Chinese drug stores,
beauty and herbal product retailers and general merchandise stores in 50 cities
in Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and the National Capital Region. 
“Sustained vigilance is essential to ensure that the
unlawful trade of cosmetics laced with lead, mercury and other harmful
substances does not thrive, dupe and harm the consuming public,” said Aileen
Lucero, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.
Lead and mercury are neurotoxicants and recognized by the
World Health Organization as among the “ten chemicals of major public
health concern.”
“For the sake of their health and safety, consumers
should heed FDA’s latest advisory and refrain from buying unregistered
cosmetics that could be loaded with health-damaging contaminants and
ingredients,” she added.
Among the 28 products banned for exceeding the maximum
allowable limits of 1 part per million (ppm) for mercury and 20 ppm for lead
under the ASEAN Cosmetics Directive were:
I.  Skin Whitening
Creams:  Aichun Beauty Aloe Vera
Whitening Speckle-Removing Series; Charm Charm; Erna (black); Feique Cucumber
Anti-Wrinkle Whitening Set; Feique Rose Refining Nourishing Set;  Huichundemei Extreme Whitening Deluxe
Version;  Jiaoli 7-Day Specific
Eliminating Freckle Cream;  Jiaoli Liang
Miraculous Cream; Jiaoli Herbs Essence Whitening AB Set; Jiaoli Speckle
Removing and Nourishing Assembly; 
Lianglibai; Pan Yu Health Beautiful Whitening Removing Speckle Package;
Pulanna Day and Night Cream;  Qian Mei;
Qubanshuang; Shengniya 7-Day Freckle Eliminating; S’zitang; S’zitang 7-Day
Specific Whitening and Spot AB Set/S’zitang 7 Days Specific Eliminating Freckle
AB Set; S’zitang 10-Day Whitening and Spot Day and Night Set; S’zitang
Yangbaisu; Women of Flower Whitening and Speckle-Removing A and B Series; Xin
Jiao Li 10-Day Whitening Speckles Removed Cream; Zixinmei Face Beauty Vegetable
Red in White Series (pink box); and Zixinmei Face Beauty Vegetable Red in White
Series (purple box)
Lipsticks:  Ashley Shine New
Formulized Moisture Lipstick #07, Kiss Beauty Professional BB Cinema Lipstick
#5 and Monaliza Series Lipstick #07.
III.  Whitening
Spray:  Daiyasi UV Resistance BB
Whitening Spray
Among the 9 products that were also banned for having no
FDA notification were:  Ashley UV
Resistance BB Whitening Spray, Qianyan Daily Night Special Anti-Speckle Beauty
Cream, and 7 variants of Meiya, Miss Merry and Monaliza lipsticks.
The FDA through OIC Director Nicolas Lutero II ordered
its field regulatory officers to monitor, conduct inventory and seize all
cosmetics products with no certificate of product notification.
The FDA requested all local government units to ensure
that cosmetics with no market authorization are not sold by ambulant and
sidewalk vendors.
The FDA further requested the Bureau of Customs to remain
vigilant to prevent the entry of unregistered and toxic health products in the