The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), as part of its routine market surveillance activity, is investigating the possible adulteration of mercury, hydroquinone or steroids in some cosmetic products on the Ghanaian market.

The FDA’s investigations have revealed that some cosmetic products on the market contain these substances.

This is a serious violation of the Standards Authority Act, 1973 (N.R.C.D.173) as well as Sections 111(c) and 113(b) of the Public Health Act, 2012, Act 851 which provides that; “A person commits an offence if that person sells a drug, herbal medicinal product, cosmetic, medical device or household chemical substance which is adulterated”

“A person commits an offence if that person labels, packages, sells or advertises a drug, a herbal medicinal product, cosmetic, medical device or household chemical substance in a manner that is false, misleading or deceptive or misbranded as regards it character, constitution, value , potency, quality, composition, merits or safety”.

The companies whose products contain these substances (mercury, hydroquinone and steroids) have been directed to initiate an immediate recall of their products from the market as they pose a potential health risk. These substances are not permitted in cosmetic products due to their adverse side effects over prolonged use.

The adverse health effects associated with these substances include but not limited to the following: • Permanent neurological damage in children (pre-natal and neo-natal) exposed to mercury during pregnancy and or lactation. • Kidney toxicity • Fertility problems • Birth defects • Gastrointestinal toxicity • Liver toxicity • Skin infections • Skin cancer • Hyperpigmentation/Ochronosis (“Na enso εbεn”) • Skin infections

The FDA is advising the general public: 1. Not to purchase any of these cosmetic products as indicated 2. Immediately discontinue use and return all such products to the retail shops from where they were purchased or to the FDA 3. Report to the FDA any adverse effects arising from the use of any cosmetic product through the FDA’s safety monitoring system The FDA wishes to emphasize that the protection of the general public is its prime objective and all activities are designed to provide continuous assurance of safety of all food, medicines, cosmetics, household chemicals and medical devices.

The Authority will continue to monitor the market and all unwholesome products will be safely disposed of in accordance to Section 132 of the Public Health Act. The list of companies and products that contain the substances that are not permitted in cosmetic products are:

DIMD Limited 1. Perfect White Beauty Lotion (Clobetasol, Hydroquinone) 2. Day By Day Men Perfect Body Lotion (Betamethasone) Banare Limited 1. Ahoɔfε Foundation Body Cream (Mercury, Hydroquinone) France Mod Limited 1. Fair & White So White Skin Perfector Brightening and Moisturizing Body Milk (Hydroquinone) IVO Ghana Limited 1. Zoe Peau Sublime Beauty Lotion (BN:AF50.04000002.09:15) (Mercury, Betamethasone, Hydroquinone) 2. Zoe Peau Sublime Beauty Lotion (BN: not stated) (Mercury, Betamethasone, Hydroquinone) 3. Body Clear Lightening Lotion (BN: not stated) (Mercury, Hydroquinone)

4. Zoe Peau Sublime Face Corrective Cream (BN: not stated) (Mercury, Clobetasol, Betamethasone)

5. Body Fashion Body Milk (BN: not stated) (Mercury, Hydroquinone)

6. HT7 Hyprogel Body Lotion (BN: not stated) (Betamethasone)

7. Beauty Clinic Whitening Lotion (BN: AF51.0500 0001) (Mercury, Hydroquinone) Magic Dodo Ltd 1. Dodo Beauty Lightening Lotion (BN: 006114) (Mercury, Hydroquinone) 2. Marie France Skin Care (BN: 006045) (Mercury, Betamethasone, Hydroquinone Nouvelle Parfumrie Gandour Ghana Limited 1. Tiatio Concentrated Serum (Betamethasone, Clobetasol, Hydroquinone) 2. Bravia Unifying Body Cream (BN: 1006618) (Hydroquinone) 3. Bronze Tone Cocoa Butter and Honey Extracts (Hydroquinone) 4. Passionella Complexion Unifying Serum (Hydroquinone) 5. Passionella Brightening Cream (BN:241540) (Hydroquinone) 6. Fluo Pommade a Huile de Ricin (Betamethasone) 7. Bravia Lotion (Mercury, Clobetasol, Hydroquinone) 8. Doctoress Crème (Clobetasol) 9. Pure Skin Vanishing Care Body Cream (Clobetasol, Hydroquinone) 10. Senophine Crème (Clobetasol) 11. Abana Facial Crème (Mercury, Clobetasol, Hydroquinone) 12. Bronze Tone Maxi Tone Cocoa Butter & Honey Extract Lotion (Hydroquinone) 13. Maxilight Lightening & Purifying Body Lotion (Clobetasol, Hydroquinone) 14. G&G Body Cream (Mercury, Clobetasol, Hydroquinone) Paradise Cosmetics Limited 1. Bioskin Lightening Body Lotion (BN: 750) (Hydroquinone, Clobetasol) 2. Bioskin Lightening Body Lotion (BN: 847) (Clobetasol, Hydroquinone) 3. Clair-Liss Genial Lightening Body Cream (BN: B9834) (Clobetasol, Hydroquinone) 4. Clair-Liss Genial Lightening Body Cream (9816) (Clobetasol, Hydroquinone) 5. Sivoclair Lightening Body Lotion (BN-3560) (Clobetasol, Hydroquinone) 6. Goldskin Clarifying Body Lotion with Argan Oil (BN: 740) (Clobetasol, Hydroquinone) 7. Goldskin Fast Action Cream with Argan Oil (BN: G07025) (Clobetasol) 8. Peau Claire Lightening Body Cream (BN: 3926) (Clobetasol, Hydroquinone) 9. Biocarrot Lightening Body Lotion (BN: 167) (Clobetasol, Hydroquinone) Stopover JRA Enterprise 1. RA Foundation Body Cream (Mercury, Hydroquinone) Universal Basic Company Limited 1. Tendrina Special Hand and Body Complexion Lotion (BN: 139) (Betamethasone) 2. Tendrina Complexion Cream (BN: CT 4003) (Betamethasone) 3. Tendrina Hand and Body Complexion Lotion (BN: not legible) (Betamethasone) 4. TC 35 Clear Complexion Milk (BN: 14352) (Betamethasone).

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