Consumers warned: Mercury in skin whitening creams

Consumers warned: Mercury in skin whitening creams

Mercury is a prohibited substance in cosmetic products, and the products must not be sold in the EU. Even though skin bleaching creams with mercury have been found in Sweden, the Swedish Medicines Agency does not advise consumers to buy these products.

Supplements containing dangerous substances are sold in stores around the EU despite having a sales ban.

Consumers who believe they have used such a product should immediately stop using it. 

Environmental inspectors in Malmö have found skin-whitening creams containing mercury when checked in stores. The use of skin whitening creams can lead to mercury poisoning. Even others in a household where a person uses the products can be affected and, in the worst-case, suffer from poisoning, writes the Swedish Medicines Agency, which now strongly advises consumers to use these products. 

Those who think they have used a product containing mercury are urged to stop using it immediately. If you are worried, you can contact the health service. 

Dangerous even in small quantities

Mercury is freed into the air and can be dangerous even in small amounts when stored in the body. 

The seized creams in Malmö contained very high levels. However, mercury is not mentioned in the table of contents. 

May also contain other prohibited substances

The Customs Agency has been able to see an increasing trend in the seizures of skin whitening products. These products have also contained hydroquinone, which is another forbidden skin-bleaching substance. 

– We have good cooperation with the Customs Administration and are monitoring the situation and hope to reach out with information so that consumers understand how dangerous these products are.

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