Taiwan’s FDA rubbishes caution report on mercury in cosmetics

By Michelle Yeomans contact

- Last updated on GMT

Taiwan’s FDA rubbishes caution report on mercury in cosmetics

Related tags: Cosmetics, Taiwan

The FDA has reiterated that the mercury concentration in cosmetics is strictly regulated in Taiwan despite a recent report cautioning consumers about unsafe products.

The Authority spoke out against a report published by the Taipei City Department of Environmental Protection officials, stating that as each AP country has its own regulations on mercury content in cosmetics, consumers could be exposing themselves to health risks by purchasing products from nations with laxer standards or quality control.

It stated that the use of mercury in the production of cosmetics has been banned in Taiwan since the early 1980s due to concerns about the metal’s neurotoxic properties and there has only been limits the concentration of mercury in final cosmetic products to 1 part-per-million (ppm).

FDA official Yeh Meng-yi notes that given the chemical residue that is unavoidably imparted during manufacturing, and that there are similar limits is in place in the EU, Japan and South Korea.

Product safety is questionable with unknown websites...

EP officials who published the report, say that the danger lies in that more Taiwanese consumers are shopping on China’s largest e-commerce marketplace, Taobao.com and other foreign websites, where they could unintentionally be purchasing unsafe products.

The department then cited a Hong Kong news report published late last year about a woman who suffered mercury poisoning after using a face cream she bought on Taobao.

The cream’s mercury content was later found to be more than 35,000 times higher than China’s maximum allowable level (MAL), which is also 1ppm.

Mercury mostly uncovered in Philippine products

Mercury-containing cosmetics are rife in the Philippines. The news comes from environmental group EcowasteCoalition who found the majority of cosmetics products tested in discount stores there to have contained dangerous chemicals in 2013.

In samples of mixed cosmetics taken from 2011-2013, nearly two thirds (61%) were found to contain dangerous chemicals.

Even more disturbingly, the vast majority of skin whitening products examined contained “outrageous” ​levels of mercury and heavy metals.

Related topics: Regulation & Safety, South East Asia

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