Cosmetic product Airee Beauty Care-Night Cream from Malaysia has been found to be adulterated with mercury, which can cause adverse and potentially hazardous effects to users of the product, the Ministry of Health (MoH) announced.
The ministry’s Laboratory of Pharmacy Section, Department of Scientific Laboratory Services tested the product.
Mercury is a potent ingredient prohibited in cosmetic products as stipulated in the Medicines (Cosmetic Products) Regulations, 2007, due to its hazardous effects on human health. It is readily absorbed through the skin on topical application and tends to accumulate in the body.
Exposure to mercury can cause skin rashes, memory loss and muscle weakness while high exposure may result in damage to the brain and kidneys. It is also extremely toxic to unborn children.
The public who have purchased or used this product are advised to stop using them immediately. They should also consult a medical practitioner if they feel unwell or experience any undesirable reactions as a result of using them.
Retail of the product (including online retail such as through Facebook) is an offence under the Medicines (Cosmetic Products) Regulations, 2007.
The penalty for contravening these regulations, upon conviction, is a fine not exceeding BND5,000, imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both.
The MoH called for public cooperation to report to the Compliance and Licensing Section if any of these products are still found in the market in the country.