While wingnuts like the EWG seek to squash US producers of safe cosmetics, we’re importing boatloads of mercury. Great.
clipped from www.chicagotribune.com

Some skin whitening creams contain toxic mercury, testing finds

High levels found as products gain popularity worldwide


Some creams promising to lighten skin, eliminate age spots and zap freckles contain high levels of mercury, a toxic metal that can cause severe health problems, a Tribune investigation has found.

The newspaper sent 50 skin-lightening creams to a certified lab for testing, most of them bought in Chicago stores and a few ordered online. Six were found to contain amounts of mercury banned by federal law.

Of those, five had more than 6,000 parts per million — enough to potentially cause kidney damage over time, according to a medical expert.

The Food and Drug Administration banned mercury in skin-bleaching or lightening products in 1990, but the agency rarely tests the products to see if consumers are at risk. The Tribune’s tests — among only a handful ever conducted — show that tainted products are still readily available.
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