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Title: Poisonous Cosmetics: The problem of mercury in skin whitening creams in Nepal
Authors: Sah, Ram Charitra
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Sah, Ram Charitra. 2012. Poisonous Cosmetics, the Problem of Mercury in Skin Whitening Creams in Nepal,vi+10. Kathmandu: CEPHED.
Keywords: Poisonous Cosmetics: The problem of mercury in skin whitening creams in Nepal
Abstract: Executive Summary: Cosmetics are being used from the early historical era but simply the form of the cosmetics and the way of using it was different. From the time immemorial both the men and women are equally fund of cosmetics. In earlier days people use to mix different types of chemicals and products to make cosmetics to be applied in their face which include even the heavy metals. Galena Mesdemet is one example of such cosmetic used in ancient Egyptian period. It is an eye product that is made up of copper and lead ore. Different literatures available prove that the heavy metals are used in large quantity in cosmetics during different time period depending in the products of cosmetics they wanted to use. And these cosmetics that have been prepared as heavy metals as there ingredients is very toxic to health. It may cause various problems like damage in brain, kidney, nervous system, reproductive system and even cause a cancer and death. Many European and African countries have banned heaey metal i consmetics and even fix the standards. However, Nepal does not have any standards, guidelines or policies regarding the concentration of heavy metals in cosmetics or in any other products. There is no any government agencies responsible for regulating chemicals in cosmetics in Nepal. Therefore, there is no limit for such concentration in products in Nepal. For this reason, under this study the guideline considered for analyzing the result of mercury test were again compared with US Food and Drugs Administration’s mercury in cosmetic guidelines which is less than 1 mg/kg. This was the first ever study carried out by CEPHED in Nepal about chemicals in product especially in cosmetics to inform the wide users about the level of contamination and associated health impacts. Basically the study was done in two very popular and most used cosmetic products: skin whitening and moisturizing creams. The concentration observed in these products were Mercury at the level of health concern. Seven samples of most common and popular brand of skin whitening and moisturizing creams were collected from different market areas of Kathmandu. The collected samples of skin whitening cream was send to Delhi Test House (DTH), New Delhi, India for mercury (Hg) detection. Mercury in sking whitening creams were tested by ICP MS method. The result shows that the popular skin whitening creams available in the Nepalese market has mercury level at detectable level and is enough to cause different kinds of disabilities and problems in human health up on continuous use. The mercury level in the studied skin whitening creams ranges from below 0.025 mg/kg (instrument detection limit) to maximum of 0.521 mg/kg for Garnier skin natural. The average value of mercury contain in all samples was found to be 0.112 mg/kg. The market survey shows that there is no any monitoring regarding quality, sell, import and distribution of cosmetics in Nepalese market. There is no proper labelling of ingredients in the cosmetic products and specially regarding heavy metals. So, general people are not aware of such contamination in the product they are relying on. Therefore, there is an immediate need to formulate a guidelines and standards regarding the heavy metal concerntration in cosmetics to minimize the exposure of general public with toxic heavy metals as well as there should be some institutional arrangement to regulate the sector. The mass awareness about the chemicals in products especially in cosmetics needs to be launched.
Appears in Collections:Post Graduate Grant (PG) Reports

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