Mercury and steroids found in skin lightening products in Welwyn Hatfield

PUBLISHED: 12:18 16 April 2013 | UPDATED: 12:18 16 April 2013

County Hall, Hertford

County Hall, Hertford

Archant

DANGEROUS ingredients have been found in skin-lightening products being sold in Welwyn Hatfield and Hertsmere.

The following products tested contained excess levels of these substances or had them listed as product ingredients:

■ Body Clear Crème Eclaircissant

■ Lait Ecoporel Eclaircissant Body Clear

■ Crème Cocoa Butter Skin Light

■ Light and Natural Carotene

■ Skin Light

■ Caro Light

■ Miss Caroline Crème Eclaircissant

■ Peau Claire

■ Cinci Brido

■ Seven Herbal Ubtan

■ Nixoderm

■ Stillmans Skin Bleach Cream

■ Stillmans Freckle Cream

■ Efficaite Excptionelle Strong Bleaching Treatment

Mercury and steroids were among a host of illegal substances found in the samples after a Trading Standards clampdown.

Twenty-two products, taken from 12 stores in Hertsmere, Welwyn Hatfield, Watford and Broxbourne, were tested and 14 contained banned ingredients.

These included mercury – which is so toxic it can damage the brain and kidneys – and hydroquinone – which can cause damage to the nervous system, liver and increases the risk of skin cancer.

A further eight samples had been mislabelled.

The products are popular among young people in BME (Black Minority Ethnic) communities in the county and were taken from convenience stores, hairdressers and beauty salons.

No legal action has been taken against the sellers but Guy Pratt, assistant director for community protection at County Hall, said shops would continue to be monitored.

He said: “We advise against purchasing products which show mercury, hydroquinone, benzoic acid or clobetasol in the ingredients.

“Even if these are not listed, you should be very cautious as many of the products tested contain these ingredients despite not being labelled as such. We will continue to monitor shops and take action if illegal products are found.”

Members of the public who want to alert Trading Standards to the sale of these products should call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service helpline on 08454 04 05 06.


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