Don’t purchase cosmetic products containing mercury hydroquinone – FDA

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), as part of its routine market surveillance, is investigating the possible adulteration of mercury, hydroquinone and steroids in cosmetic products on the Ghanaian market.

The FDA investigations have revealed that some cosmetic products on the market contain these substances.

This was stated in a press statement signed by Mr James Lartey, the Head of Communication, Public, Education Department and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Tuesday.

It said it is a serious violation of the Standard Authority Act, 1973 (N.R.D.173) as well as Sections 111(c) and 113(b) of the Public Health Act, 2012, Act 851 which provides that:

“A person commits an offence if that person sells a drug, herbal medicine products, cosmetic, medical device or household chemical substance which has been adulterated.”

“A person commits an offense if that person labels, packages, sells or advertises a drug, a herbal medicinal product, cosmetic, medical device or household chemical substance in a manner that is false misleading or deceptive or misbranded as regards it character, constitution, value, potency, quality, composition, merit or safety”.

The statement said the companies whose products contain these substances: mercury, hydroquinone and steroids have been directed to initiate an immediate recall of their products from the market as they pose a potential health risk.

It said these substances are not permitted in cosmetic products due to their adverse side effects over prolonged use.

The statement said the adverse health effects associated with these substances include but not limited to kidney toxicity, fertility problems, birth defects, gastrointestinal toxicity, liver toxicity, skin toxicity, skin infections and skin cancer among others.

It urged public to not purchase any of these products indicated and should immediately return all such products to the retail shops from where they were purchased or to the FDA.

The FDA wishes to emphasise that the protection of the public is its prime objective and all activities are designed to provide continuous assurance of safety of all foods, medicine, cosmetics, households chemicals and medical values.