Certain skin creams found to have mercury levels hundreds of thousands times higher than FDA-approved limits
NaturalNews) Concern over the levels of mercury in certain skin creams was discussed during the recent American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition in California, where Dr. Gordon Vrdoljak of the California Department of Public Health noted that he's discovered levels that are hundreds of thousands times higher than the FDA limit. (1)
"The limits for mercury in face creams is about one part per million," he says of the FDA-accepted levels in the United States. (1) However, Dr. Vrdoljak discovered that some skin creams in the United States far exceed this number, finding many to have mercury levels that were upwards of 210,000 parts per million. (2)
Skin creams, namely skin-lightening ones designed to combat the signs of aging and reduce wrinkles, freckles and age spots, can have serious health consequences. Dr. Vrdoljak says that products containing these higher levels of mercury wreak havoc on health and can even lead to death, since mercury is linked to causing neurological problems and kidney disease. (1)
Furthermore, they are not entirely effective; he says that "these things come back," referring to skin conditions treated with these iffy, mercury-laden products.
Third-party sources likely culprit in supply of dangerous face creams
He cites use of products from "third-party sources," such as bringing products back from overseas or purchasing creams from questionable, non-dermatologist sources, as a reason that is likely behind the higher levels of some skin creams found in the United States. (1)
In Northern California, a 39-year old woman who was using an unlabeled mercury-containing face cream brought into the United States from Mexico by a relative had over 100 times the average amount of mercury in her urine, coupled with mercury-poisoning symptoms. (3) The woman had been using the product for three years.
Dr. Vrdoljak also says that differences between ethnic markets and ever-changing standards about beauty come into play and may explain why more people are inclined to use products from outside of the United States. (1)
How to avoid harmful skin creams
The FDA warns against such use, urging people to be aware of the difference between how a product may be promoted and what it's legally approved to do for an individual, suggesting that people take notice of and avoid package wording such as "mercurous chloride," "mercury," "mercuric," "calomel" and "mercurio." (3)
The FDA also suggests refraining from online purchase of such products, since many are made overseas and then sold in the United States illegally.
Mercury is one of the most toxic elements which Dr. Vrdoljak says can be absorbed into the body via application on the skin, as well as transferred by touch. (1) Rubbing the face and then rubbing eyes or eating foods that have been touched by contaminated skin are just a couple of examples of how easy it is for it to spread, and it can even be passed to other family members who don't use the product. (1, 3)