Red flag raised on cosmetic product

Lyna Mohamad

The Ministry of Health (MoH) has raised the red flag on a cosmetic product which has been tested by the Laboratory of Pharmacy Section, Department of Scientific Services of the MoH and found it to be adulterated with undeclared, potent Western meridicne.

The product, Herbal Plus New Day & Night Cream, whose manufacturer is unknown, was found to contain mercury, which can cause adverse effects that are potentially hazardous to users.

Mercury is a prohibited potent ingredient 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 tropical application and tends to accumulate in the body.

Exposure to it can cause skin rashes, memory loss and muscle weakness, while high exposures may result in damage to the brain and kidneys. It is also extremely toxic to unborn children.

The MoH has not issued any approval for the importation of sale and/or Cosmetic Notification Acknowledgement Letter for the product. The product listed is not allowed to be imported and sold in Brunei Darussalam.

Members of the public who have used the product are advised to consult a medical practitioner should they feel unwell or experience any undesirable reactions as a result of using it.

The MoH reminded the public involved in the retail of this product, including online retail such as through social network platforms, that it is an offence under the Medicines (Cosmetic Products) Regulations 2007 to import and market cosmetic products in the local market without a Cosmetic Product Notification Acknowledgement Letter issued by the authority.

Public members contravening these regulations are liable to 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 (at 2393298 – ext 208) should the product still be found in the local market. The public can also email [email protected], visit the Compliance and Licensing Section, Department of Scientific Services in Kampong Madaras, Mukim Gadong ‘A’ or call Darussalam line at 123 for information and communication.