THE EcoWaste Coalition on Wednesday warns the public from using unregistered cosmetics due to their possible adverse effects on the user’s health.
Specifically, the EcoWaste Coalition, an environment and public health watchdog, asked the public to avoid health and beauty products that have no certification from the Food and Drug Administration of the Philippines. The coalition noted that most of these products came from China and are sold at discounted prices in flea markets in Manila, Pasay, Caloocan, and Quezon City.
The coalition reminded that as per Department of Health Administrative Orders 2005-0015 and 2005-0025, any company or person responsible for selling a cosmetic product in the market shall notify the FDA before the product is placed in the market in line with the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive (ACD).
According to the administrative order “Companies intending to manufacture, import, export, distribute, sell, offer for sale, transfer, promote and advertise cosmetic products (must) apply with the agency (FDA), prior to carrying out said activities, for the License to Operate (LtO) as Cosmetic Establishment and for Cosmetic Product Notification (CPN).”
Thony Dizon, EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect coordinator, said “the proliferation of unregistered cosmetics in the market in spite of the repeated warning from the FDA against such illegal act is worrisome.”
“Many of these products do not adhere to the standard cosmetic labeling requirements, depriving consumers of their right to basic information such as the product ingredients, usage instruction and precautionary warning if any,” he added.
Furthermore, Dizon said “consumers using non-compliant and low quality cosmetics may be unsuspectingly exposing themselves to harmful bacterial and chemical contaminants and other impurities that can damage human health.”
“Some of these products may even contain substances that are not allowed or not in conformity with the restrictions and conditions as laid down by the ACD,” Dizon pointed out.
For instance, Dizon disclosed that the coalition found excessive mercury content at 3,802 parts per million (ppm) in Jiachuntang Ban Gan Jing Qu Ban Shuang, a skin whitening cream, which is way above the 1 ppm limit for mercury in cosmetics under the ACD.
The FDA has warned that “the use of substandard and possibly adulterated cosmetic products may result to adverse reactions including but not limited to skin irritation, itchiness and anaphylactic shock.”
To promote regulatory compliance by stores selling cosmetics and personal care products, the coalition echoed the FDA’s appeal to the public to assist the agency in monitoring the market and to report any suspicious promotional or marketing activities for unnotified cosmetic products.
The coalition also reiterated the agency’s request to all local government units and law enforcement agencies to ensure that unnotified cosmetic products are not sold or made available in their localities or areas of jurisdiction.
Finally, the EcoWaste Coalition urged the government, the industry, the local government and police authorities and the public to find ways to cut the availability of unregistered cosmetics in the market to encourage demand reduction and to protect consumers from unsafe products.