Public warned about unsafe cosmetic cream
The Department of Health (DH) today (March 16) appealed to members of the public not to buy or consume a cosmetic product called "Super 9.9.9 Natural Vit. E, C", as it may contain excessive mercury that is dangerous to health.
The appeal followed the DH's receipt of notification of a suspected mercury poisoning case from the Hospital Authority (HA) involving a 57-year-old female patient. The DH commenced the investigation immediately.
"The patient was admitted to Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital on February 7 because of swelling of lower limbs. She described a history of persistent use of the above product for the past three months. Mercury poisoning was clinically suspected. She recovered after treatment and was discharged from hospital on February 17.
"The HA's laboratory test on the two product samples submitted by the patient showed that the levels of mercury were 12,758 and 13,868 times that of the acceptable level. Investigation revealed that the product was brought by a friend of the patient from Malaysia," a DH spokesman said.
"Chronic exposure to mercury can cause damage mainly to the nervous system and kidneys. Symptoms may include tremors, irritability, insomnia, memory deterioration, difficulty in concentrating, impaired hearing and vision, and change in taste. In the most severe cases, renal failure may occur," the spokesman explained.
"As the product may cause serious side effects, people who have used the above product should stop using it immediately and consult healthcare professionals as soon as possible if they feel unwell or are in doubt.
"Members of the public are urged not to buy or consume cosmetic products of unknown composition or from doubtful sources as the consequences can be serious. They should consult healthcare professionals whenever they feel unwell or are in doubt after using suspicious products," the spokesman added.
(Reprinted from HKSAR Government web page