List Of Mercury Containing Soaps and Creams

Skin-lightening or bleaching has reached epidemic levels in many nations across the world especially in African countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, Kenya and Tanzania. Certain skin-lightening creams and medicated soaps can contain mercury. Cosmetic preparations containing mercury for bleaching purpose is an old practice. Mercury is a toxic metal but found usefulness in many cosmetic preparations targeted at skin lightening by suppression of melanin production by the skin.

Mercury is a volatile element and is harmful to the skin when used in an effort to lighten the skin. However, chronic exposure of the body to mercury at very low concentration can cause long-lasting neurological and kidney impairment. Mercury in bleaching preparations can be absorbed through the skin and accumulates in body organs giving rise to severe toxicity .

According to the World Health Organization, Women who use mercury-containing skin lighteners often have elevated mercury levels in their hair, blood and urine. Several studies have found hair mercury levels greater than 100 ppm in women using these products, compared with a ―normal‖ range of below 10 ppm. Similarly far above normal levels of mercury have been measured in urine of women in Kenya and Tanzania who used mercury-containing skin  lighteners, and users of these cosmetics in Hong Kong had elevated mercury levels in their blood and urine

Long-term use of mercury-based skin lighteners often produces a characteristic ―slate gray‖ skin color. Over-pigmented skin  is a common problem among African women, caused by mercury and/or hydroquinone in skin-lightening creams, among other factors. Ammoniated mercury, used in some skin-lightening creams, can cause rashes and allergic reactions. Other ingredients in these products, in particular steroids, also damage the skin, sometimes severely.

Kidney damage caused by long-term use of mercury-containing skin-lightening creams has been reported by investigators in China, Hong Kong and the UK.  In those cases, once the source of mercury exposure was identified and the women stopped using the harmful products, their kidney function gradually returned to normal. Unfortunately, most women who use skin-lightening products are unlikely to be seen by a medical professional who could detect such kidney damage at an early stage and eliminate their mercury exposure before more serious disease develops.

Mercury is also toxic to the nervous system. Users of mercury-containing soaps in Kenya had symptoms of nervous system toxicity including tremors, lassitude, vertigo, loss of memory, and generalized aches and pains, all classic signs of inorganic mercury poisoning. Two German women who used skin lighteners for up to 20 years each suffered from headaches, abdominal cramps and shortness of breath; both were repeatedly hospitalized.

However, the fact that even a majority of users may suffer no evident adverse effects does not make this category of products less dangerous to consumers. The developing brain is particularly sensitive to toxic effects, and the chief public health concern about mercury exposure from fish consumption, for example, is the risk of prenatal damage to the developing fetus. Mercury is also transferred from a mother to her nursing infant in breast milk. Unfortunately, no research appears to have been done to assess the possible effects of long-term use of skin lightening products by women of childbearing age on their children’s health.

List Of Mercury Containing Soaps and Creams

Soaps and creams containing mercury are banned in many countries including the United States, but may be available for purchase over the counter or on the Internet. The mercury in these types of products can be absorbed through your skin. Mercury can damage the brain, nervous system and kidneys. It may also damage the skin, cause rashes and blotchy spots, and give skin a grayish color. The longer and more often products containing mercury are used, the greater the health risk. These products can be especially harmful to children.

 

How to Identify Dangerous Soaps and Creams

Products may contain mercury, even if it is not listed as an ingredient on the label. According to a study which analyzed sixteen brands of soap, mercury was found to be present in some soaps which did not indicate it on their labels, as required by law.  Check packaging materials and any instructions or ingredient lists carefully. Look for:

  • “Hg” (the chemical symbol for mercury) or the word “mercury”

 

  • Mercuric iodide, mercuric chloride, mercurous chloride, ammoniated mercury, calomel, mercurio, amide chloride of mercury or mercury oxide

 

  • Instructions to avoid contact with silver, gold, rubber, aluminum and jewelry

According to a study which analyzed sixteen brands of soap mercury was found to be present in some soaps which did not indicate it on their labels, as required by law. Here is a List of and examples of mercury-containing soap and creams in Nigeria and Other parts of the World;

 

SOAPS

  1. Crusader Medicated Soap
  2. Uniderm Soap
  3. Jaribu Soap
  4. Skin Light Soap
  5. Super Family
  6. Binti Jambo Soap
  7. Baby and Maman Soap
  8. Movate Soap
  9. Amira Soap
  10. La Bamakoise Savon Tamarin Soap
  11. Miki Soap
  12. Mekako Antiseptic Soap Soap
  13. Rico Soap
  14. Tura Soap
  15. Jaribu Soap
  16. Acura Soap
  17. Fair Lady
  18. Elegance
  19. Roberts Antiseptic Soap
  20. SivoClair Lightening Soap
  21. Djarabi Soap
  22. A3 Skin Lightening Soap
  23. Peau Claire Lightening Soap
  24. Mic Medicated Germicidal Soap

 

Creams

  1. Maxi Claire
  2. Shiny Beauty cream
  3. Top Claire Plus
  4. Tamarin
  5. Charms
  6. Caro derm
  7. Skin Light
  8. Carro 7
  9. L’abidjainaise
  10. Rapid Clair
  11. Beauty Lotion Shinny
  12. Djarabi
  13. Yes To
  14. Bio 21 Jours
  15. Bio liss
  16. Yes To lotion
  17. Caro Top lotion
  18. Maxi Claire
  19. New Shirley Medicated
  20. Top lemon
  21. Pimplex Medicated
  22. Top Claire Plus

SEE: How to Spot Fake Crusader Soap and Side Effects

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