The lead-up to Christmas is a busy time for the cosmetic industry, but sales are being dampened due Amazon and eBay selling illegal – and potentially unsafe – products.
Earlier this week, 50 NGOs, together with the Mercury Policy Project, called on the two online retailers to stop marketing cosmetics that contain toxic levels of mercury, which could harm those who use them.
Director of the Mercury Policy Project Michael Bender stated: “Internet moguls must stop breaking the law and exposing NYC residents and others with their toxic trade in illegal cosmetics.”
After finding 19 skin lightening creams sold on these sites in May contained levels of mercury that were thousands of times higher than the legal limit, which currently stands at one part per million (ppm), MPP and Sierra Club looked at 15 other creams in September.
Researchers discovered 12 had mercury levels that were off the scale, including Stillman’s Skin Bleach, with 20,000 ppm.
Mr Bender added that the US government needs to do more to restrict the selling of these products, stating: “At the same time, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) must enforce – no matter how big, no-one is above the law.”
The FDA has been trying to cut down on the sale of illegal cosmetics, with the Health Department asking businesses to remove skin lightening products from their shelves.
However, while the FDA banned more than one ppa of mercury to be used in the manufacturing or importation of cosmetics on US soil, it is limited in its resources to be able to inspect all the products being sold from abroad on eBay and Amazon.
Manufacturers should stick to legally-approved substances, such as monopropylene glycol, in the making of their cosmetic products. For more information, get in touch with us today.