California health officials are going undercover to find out who has been smuggling skin creams from Mexico which contain high levels and toxic doses of Mercury.The Center for Disease Control partnered with California Department of Public Health to study the effects of mercury-laced creams in22 women who used the product. The creams were mainly skin lighteners used tofade freckles as well as treat acne, since mercury removes pigment.
But what they discovered about these illegal creams was pretty alarming. The creams contained concentrations between 5 and 6 percent of the metal and those women who applied the cream twice a day had the highest levels of Mercury poisoning.
The women were complaining of symptoms ofheadaches, forgetfulness, and depression and Mercury poisoning is known todamage the nervous system and the kidneys.
According to an article in TheWashington Post,investigators are working with health and beauty workers in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose to uncover the skin creams in shops and at swap meets.
The issue, while seen mostly in immigrant communities of California, has also been addressed inVirginia, Minnesota and Illinois where an influx of illegal creams has been soldin African, Asian, Latino and Middle Eastern communities.
So before you buy those on-the-dime beauty products, think again. Because we are pretty sure “Mercury Poisoning” isn’t something they will advertise on your nightly spot-treatment.