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Friday, June 21, 2024

QC intensifies enforcement of laws vs mercury-laced cosmetics

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The Quezon City government through its public health officials has stepped up its drive to promote business compliance with laws banning mercury-laced cosmetics.

A recent consultative meeting organized by the Quezon City Health Department (QCHD) drew the participation of shopping mall management representatives, cosmetic product and food supplement retailers, exhibitors and organizers. 

Dr. Laarni Malapit, Special Services Division Head of QCHD, urged the participants to support the efforts of the city government to protect public health and the environment from the detrimental effects of hazardous products, such as mercury-laden cosmetics.

According to the Ecowaste Coalition, the city government wanted the strict implementation of Republic Act (RA) No. 9711 or the ‘Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Act of 2009.’

The law prohibits the manufacture, importation, distribution, sale, advertising, promotion or sponsorship of any health products without proper authorization from the FDA, which is tasked to ensure the safety, efficacy and quality of cosmetics and other health-related products in the market.

EcoWaste Coalition campaigner Manny Calonzo also briefed the participants about the effects of constant exposure to mercury found in some skin lightening creams for men and women.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), frequent and prolonged exposure to mercury can be toxic to the central and peripheral nervous systems.

Inhalation of mercury vapor can also produce harmful effects on the digestive and immune systems, lungs and kidneys that can be fatal.

“Neurological and behavioral disorders may be observed after inhalation, ingestion or dermal exposure of different mercury compounds. Symptoms include tremors, insomnia, memory loss, neuromuscular effects, headaches and cognitive and motor dysfunction,” the WHO said on its website. 

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