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FDA warns of mercury poisoning from skin care products


unnamedThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a notice to consumers warning them to avoid skin creams, beauty and antiseptic soaps, and lotions that contain mercury. Recently, the FDA has learned of multiple products containing mercury that have caused mercury poisoning. According to the FDA, “The products are usually marketed as skin lighteners and anti-aging treatments that remove age spots, freckles, blemishes, and wrinkles,” and “usually are manufactured abroad and sold illegally in the United States.”

While many adverse events are beyond physician control, preparing for the worst-case scenario can help prevent and manage common adverse reactions.

How will you know if mercury’s in the cosmetic, especially one that’s marketed as “anti-aging” or “skin lightening”?

Check the label. If the words “mercurous chloride,” “calomel,” “mercuric,” “mercurio,” or “mercury” are listed on the label, mercury’s in it—and you should stop using the product immediately.

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