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UNBELIEVABLE! The bastards! Mercury(and lead) used to be commonly used in face powders & creams, back when a pale complexion was de riguer. And, back in the day there were those that warned against it's use saying that those that used it would pay the price, that is... REALLY bad skin later. Just another reminder that we all need to be educated as to the source of what we choose to ingest and put on our bodies. Sure these creams are all manufactured overseas but there are a ton of harmful ingredients in commercial creams & lotions, make-up, etc. Have a look at www.cosmeticsdatabase.com and see...
This is from "The Secrets of Beauty and the Mysteries of Health", by Cora Brown Potter~ 1908:
"Complexion Improvers: Most of the preparations sold under this or other names contain corrosive sublimate, perchloride of mercury. This powerful drug must be used with caution, as it produces marked alteration in, and hardening of, the skin. On account of it's strong germicidal properties it has long been used by surgeons for cleansing their hands for operations, but too often has it's action been so severe as to cause the hands to become very rough and the skin so cracked and painful as even to necessitate them giving up work for weeks...
....It often happens that their use for toilet purposes is profitable to the seller, because, their nature being unknown to the buyer, one or more other preparations must be PURCHASED FROM THE SAME SOURCE TO REMOVE THE ILL EFFECTS OF THE FIRST"
And I went ahead and copied the article:
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Some skin creams formulated to eliminate age spots and freckles contain a dangerously high level of toxic mercury that can cause kidney damage, according to an investigation by the Chicago Tribune.
The newspaper found that six out of 50 skin-lightening creams tested by a certified lab contained amounts of mercury that broke U.S. federal law. Five of the creams had formulas that had 6,000 parts per million of mercury — enough to cause kidney damage.
The products tested were purchased in a variety of stores, including grocery stores, beauty supply stores, salons, herbal medicine shops and on the Internet. The products were manufactured in Lebanon, China, India, Pakistan and Taiwan.
Mercury in skin creams was banned in 1990 by the Food and Drug Administration, but the investigation shows that products are rarely tested and still readily available.
Dr. Jonith Breadon, a Chicago dermatologist, often treats patients who want to lighten their skin. "I'm shocked and speechless," Breadon said. "I just assumed since (mercury) was banned in the U.S., it never got in. But clearly that isn't true."
The FDA told the Tribune that fewer than 500 inspectors with the agency are available to review imported products, making it close to impossible that every product can be thoroughly checked. "It is likely that things get past us," Ira Allen, an FDA spokesman said.
Retailers selling the mercury creams said they would remove them from the shelves, and two distributors are discontinuing them.
Mercury is absorbed through the skin rapidly, and toxic poisoning from mercury can range from blurred vision and trouble walking to shutting down organs and in severe cases, death.