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Tuesday, March 22, 2022Publications

Too many mercury-containing lightening cosmetics still on the market, says the ZMWG

Trop de cosmétiques éclaircissants contenant du mercure encore sur le marché, dénonce le ZMWG

In a report published on 10 March 2022, the international organisation Zero Mercury Working Group (ZMWG) published the results of its investigation on the presence of mercury-containing lightening cosmetic products on the market. Conclusions: they are still widely available, especially on the Internet. The ZMWG denounces the weakness of regulations and insufficient controls.

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The Zero Mercury Working Group, which grew out of the Zero Mercury Campaign led by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) in 2004, is an international coalition of over 110 environmental and health NGOs from over 55 countries.
For several years, he has been tracking down skin lightening products containing mercury and his findings are now clear: “Between 2017 and 2022, our three separate investigations confirmed continued worldwide availability of illegal SLPs containing high mercury concentrations, as well as the urgent need for legal and programmatic reforms to better protect consumers and their families from unsafe, illegal and counterfeit products.”

Mercury in skin lightening products

Despite the significant health risks, mercury compounds are frequently added to skin lightening products for their ability to suppress melanin production. Countless scientific studies have highlighted their negative health impacts. The World Health Organisation has also recognised mercury as a “major public health concern”.

Regular use of mercury-containing skin lightening products can cause rashes, skin discolouration and blotches. Long-term exposure can also damage the eyes, lungs, kidneys, digestive, immune and nervous systems.
Their use by an adult can also expose other family members, for example through contact, and may even require decontamination of the home.
The …

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