Skin care products may contain mercury, FDA warns

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Several varieties of antiseptic soaps and skin lotions making claims to not only clean the skin, but remove wrinkles and freckles and lighten the skin’s complexion, as well, may be cosmetic products illegally imported into the United States, according to a consumer warning issued by the Food and Drug Administration. These products may contain high concentrations of mercury. The warning has been issued in response to multiple reports of mercury poisoning originating from at least seven states, including a Californian woman who was hospitalized for mercury poisoning after using a skin lotion of an unknown brand for a period of three years. Other members or the woman’s household who did not use the lotion had abnormally large amounts of mercury in their bodies. Young children could inhale mercury vapors emanating from the skin of a lotion or soap user in close proximity and become ill. Mercury poisoning can cause kidney and nerve damage and may impair the brain development of small children and unborn fetuses.

The Food and Drug Administration has advised that consumers avoid using skin care products that list the ingredients mercury, mercurio, mercuric, mercurous chloride, or calomel; products that have labels written in languages the user is unable to read properly; and products that have no ingredients labels at all.

As a personal injury lawyer in San Francisco, I hope no one else is harmed by this potential health hazard, and I hope the people poisoned by these products recover fully. If you have been harmed by a contaminated or defective product, please consider contacting a Bakersfield personal injury attorney.