Public urged not to use unsafe cosmetic cream (with photo)

     The Department of Health (DH) today (March 22) appealed to members of the public not to buy or use a cosmetic cream called Yin Ni Whitener Repair Cream, as it may contain excessive mercury, which is dangerous to health.

     The appeal followed the DH's receipt of notification of a suspected case of mercury poisoning from the Hospital Authority (HA) involving a 30-year-old female patient. The DH commenced investigation immediately.

     "The patient sought medical treatment from the Accident and Emergency Department of Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital on February 16 because of swelling of lower limbs. She was found to have kidney disease after admission and mercury poisoning was clinically suspected. She described a history of use of the above product for about two months before admission. Thus, her clinical condition was suspected to be related to use of the above product. She was discharged from hospital after treatment on February 18," a DH spokesman said.
     "The HA's laboratory test on the product sample submitted by the patient showed that the level of mercury was 8 349 times the acceptable level. Investigation revealed that the patient obtained the product from an unknown Indonesian shop in Hong Kong. The DH's investigation is continuing," the spokesman added.    
     "Chronic exposure to mercury can cause damage to the nervous system and kidneys. Symptoms may include tremors, irritability, insomnia, deterioration of memory, difficulty in concentration, impaired hearing and vision, and change in the ability to 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 health-care professionals as soon as possible if they feel unwell or are in doubt. Members of the public are urged not to buy or use cosmetic products of unknown composition or from doubtful sources," the spokesman stressed.

Ends/Friday, March 22, 2013
Issued at HKT 17:12