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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently sent out a warning to consumers to beware of getting mercury poisoning from skincare products. According to the CDPH, reasons for using the skin-lightening creams included fading freckles … ", The FDA has outlawed drugs and cosmetics that contain mercury, but these products are still being sold illegally online and elsewhere. Several other states, including Minnesota and Maryland, have issued similar warnings after recent cases of mercury poisoning from skin creams were reported, as well. CDPH's Food and Drug Laboratory … In fact, this is the first-known case of methylmercury poisoning from a skin-lightening cream. Consumers should avoid skin lighteners, "anti-aging" creams, and other cosmetics that may contain toxic levels of mercury, the FDA advised in an alert issued recently. A 47-year-old California woman has been in a semi-comatose state for weeks after using a Ponds-labeled skin cream tainted with methylmercury. According to Blanc, mercury is another one of those substances that the skin absorbs. It is illegal to sell skin cream products in the USA with 1 ppm or more of mercury. Mercury is found in some skin creams made outside the United States. Previously, health risks have been associated with skin creams contaminated with inorganic mercury at far higher levels of up to 200 000 ppm. The woman's case underscores how dangerous some topical skincare products can be because certain ingredients can enter the body through the skin, rather than just sit on top of it. Mercury is dangerous. By viewing our video content, you are accepting the terms of our. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) investigated participants who had elevated blood mercury level results in a health study in 2010, and identified unlabeled skin-lightening creams to be the likely source of exposure. Mercury in creams can poison the … The woman used skin-lightening creams she bought from Mexico twice daily for seven years. Subscriber She had been applying the creams to her face twice daily for the past seven years, according to the report. A woman from Sacramento is now in what is being described as a “semi-comatose state” after experiencing a severe reaction to skin cream that was tainted with mercury. It’s not just your skin creams … The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has identified m ercury in unregulated skin cream from Mexico used by several residents. It can cause serious health problems, even hospitalizations, for California residents and their families. Health officials in Sacramento say dozens of skin creams from Mexico have been seized recently and all of them have tested positive for mercury. Certain skin creams bought in Mexico may contain mercury. Like what you see here? The cream she'd most recently used was tested and found to contain mercury. Mercury is a metal that is poisonous to humans in any form. The victim’s son says symptoms started very slowly. During September 1995-May 1996, the Texas Department of Health (TDH), the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDH), and the San Diego County (California) Health Department investigated three cases of mercury poisoning associated with the use of a mercury-containing beauty cream … A California woman is now in a coma after suffering mercury poisoning from using a Pond’s-labeled skin cream that was imported from Mexico. Check the Antiseptic Soaps and Lotions. Common Symptoms of Mercury Poisoning • … Mercury Poisoning From Commercial/Store-Bought Skin Creams. organic mercury found in fish and shellfish, applying the creams to her face twice daily, how dangerous some topical skincare products can be, nicotine patches placed on the skin are effective, FDA has outlawed drugs and cosmetics that contain mercury, Your sheet mask addiction is bad for the planet, and probably isn't doing anything for your skin, You can now wash your hair with beer shampoo, and dermatologists have mixed reviews, Dr. Pimple Popper's favorite acne to treat is a special kind of blackhead. If the FDA is recommending against it, then it’s clear that it is a problem. A leading-edge research firm focused on digital transformation. As a result, a person can lose control over their motor functions and be unable to do daily activities like walking, eating, and talking. “She had mentioned just numbing in her lips and numbing in her mouth. Using a mercury-tainted skin-lightening cream obtained in Mexico left a California woman unable to speak or care for herself, according to a CDC report. "This may not be the last case we see, unfortunately," Blanc said. Looking for smart ways to get more from life? Account active Mercury poisoning from skin cream - Kuehn B. The FDA specifically warned that certain skin lightening and anti-aging creams are particularly dangerous. Poisoning can occur through ingestion, injection and absorption through the skin. Two weeks later, her condition had only gotten worse and she'd also begun having blurry vision and trouble balancing to walk. Subscribe to our daily newsletter to get more of it. According to the FDA, mercury-containing skin products often promise skin-lightening or anti-aging benefits, or claim to remove a person's freckles or blemishes. since. The victim’s son says … This type of cream is used by consumers as a skin lightener and to remove spots and wrinkles. The residen t s were test e d and were found to have high levels of mercury. Nephrotic syndrome (mainly due to minimal change or membranous nephropathy) and neurotoxicity were the most common presenting features. In a new installment of the CDC's "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report," a 47-year-old woman from Sacramento, California, acquired mercury poisoning from skin-lightening cream bought in Mexico. To find out if dangerous products are sold in California, CDPH tested over 100 imported skin-lightening creams and … It has been found in face creams used to lighten or bleach skin, treat acne, and fade age spots, blemishes, or freckles. Mercury poisoning symptoms include tingling in the hands, feet, or mouth, dizziness, memory problems, and irritability. The cream contained a form of organic mercury called methylmercury. "We're concerned about any mercury contamination, but this study ups the ante," Blanc said, adding that people of color, especially women of color, are particularly vulnerable populations for this type of poisoning because of  "the false belief that having lighter skin is advantageous. She was admitted to the hospital and health officials began to investigate the source of the mercury poisoning. Mercury is dangerous and may cause health problems. This is the first known case of methylmercury poisoning in the United States in nearly 50 years. The report details the case of a 47-year-old Mexican-American woman in Sacramento, California, who saw a doctor in July 2019 because she was in pain and felt weak. And if there's no ingredient label on the product, that's also a red flag to halt use. Inorganic mercury poisoning following the use of skin-lightening creams has been reported from Africa, Europe, USA, Mexico, Australia and Hong Kong. The case underscores how dangerous some topical skincare products can be because certain ingredients can enter the body through the skin, rather than just sit on top of it. ©2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This is the first known case of methylmercury poisoning … According to Blanc, they may not even be aware of their surroundings depending on how severe the poisoning is. Update: Mercury Poisoning Associated with Beauty Cream -- Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas, 1996 . Words like "mercurous chloride," "calomel," "mercuric," "mercurio," or "mercury" on an ingredient label signify there's mercury in it, so a person should stop using it immediately, the FDA said on its website. Mercury in cosmetics is particularly worrisome because the skin is extremely efficient at absorbing the chemical, Lipman says. Products that list "mercurous chloride," "calomel," "mercuric," "mercurio," or "mercury" among their ingredients -- or that don't list ingredients in English, or at … After calling poison control, doctors gave the woman a feeding tube with medicine for treating her condition and interviewed her family, who told them the woman had a history of using skin-lightening creams she bought from Mexico. She had a lot of fatigue, very tired all the time, just wanting to be in bed.”. Mercury can really get under your skin, literally, into your blood stream and other parts of your body. "Most harmful skin-lightening creams are intentionally tainted with inorganic mercury. If you experience any of these conditions, call your poison center at 1-800-222-1222. The US Food and Drug Administration has outlawed all consumer products that contain mercury, but these products are still being sold illegally online and in other countries. A woman's skin-lightening face cream put her in a coma because it was contaminated with mercury, according to a new report published today by the CDC. SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CBSNewYork) – Health officials are urging Americans to check their medicine cabinets – warning that you may be using tainted and poisonous skin cream. The mercury was not added by the Pond's manufacturer, but by a third party after purchase. Killer cosmetics — Woman had 524x the normal level of mercury in her blood from skin cream use A new case report on the July poisoning highlights just how toxic organic mercury is. A woman's skin-lightening face cream put her in a coma because it was contaminated with mercury, according to a new report published today by the CDC. The report details the case of a 47-year-old Mexican-American woman in Sacramento, California, who saw a doctor in July 2019 because she was in pain … Nicotine is one of those substances, for example, which explains why nicotine patches placed on the skin are effective for people who are trying to wean or quit their smoking habits. A California woman has been left semi-comatose after using a skin cream from Mexico contaminated with mercury.. At that point, she was hospitalized, the study authors said, but it wasn't until she started to become delirious that they performed urine and blood tests and found "abnormally high" levels of methylmercury, a form of organic mercury found in fish and shellfish, in her blood. Study co-author Dr. Paul Blanc, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, told Insider that while poisoning from inorganic mercury in skin products is fairly common, poisoning from the organic form of mercury, methylmercury, is far less common but much more toxic. The cream contained a form of organic mercury called methylmercury. A California woman is now in a coma after suffering mercury poisoning from using a Pond’s-labeled skin cream that was imported from Mexico. Now, despite ongoing treatment for the poisoning, the woman "remains unable to verbalize or care for herself, requiring ongoing tube feeding for nutritional support," the study authors wrote. Mercury is a toxic chemical. But further testing of the woman’s cream detected methyl mercury iodide, an organic mercury compound far more toxic than inorganic mercury, the authors wrote. Taking immediate action is important because the brain-damaging effects of mercury poisoning can be permanent and lead to further health problems in the future. One common product containing mercury is skin care. It’s a skin whitening cream from Mexico that contains mercury according to lab tests. Even mercury alone can be dangerous. If you’ve been poisoned by mercury, the most common symptoms include: To see a full list of the products that have tested positive for mercury, click here. People have used mercury for centuries in different medications and consumer products. The FDA has outlawed drugs and cosmetics that contain mercury, but these products are still being sold illegally online and in other countries where it's less regulated. Charley Gallay/Getty Images. These creams are used to lighten age spots or get rid of wrinkles, freckles, acne, or other blemishes. Mercury-tainted skin cream leaves woman in a coma for weeks. High levels of mercury can affect the brain, nervous system and kidneys, at times causing permanent damage and even death. Health Alert: Mercury poisoning linked to use of skin-lightening or acne creams from Mexico (5 pages) Poisoning cases have included several children and babies who did not use the skin creams themselves but were exposed to mercury through contact with family members who used the products. Mercury is added to these creams by third parties, not the commercial manufacturer, and promoted for skin lightening, and fading wrinkles, freckles, and age spots. If you use imported skin cream from Mexico, authorities urge you to stop immediately and bring it to your doctor for testing. Health officials in Sacramento say dozens of skin creams from Mexico have been seized recently and all of them have tested positive for mercury. Skin-lightening creams imported from Mexico often contain mercury, which bleaches the skin, but not the extremely toxic compound. 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