CHP urges public not to use unsafe cosmetic cream

     The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health today (July 4) appealed to members of the public not to buy or use a cosmetic cream called Zi Xin Mei Spots Removing Night-Cream as it may contain excessive mercury, which is dangerous to health.

     The appeal followed the CHP's receipt of notification of a case of mercury poisoning from the Hospital Authority (HA) involving a female patient aged 44. The CHP commenced an investigation immediately.

     The patient attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Ruttonjee Hospital for swelling of lower limbs on March 27 and was admitted for further management. The clinical diagnosis was kidney disease.

     She described a recent history of use of the above product for about one year before admission. Her urine sample revealed a mercury level higher than the reference interval and she was suspected to have mercury poisoning. She was discharged on March 29 in stable condition.

     A product sample submitted by the patient tested and analysed by the HA showed that the level of mercury was 11 101 times the acceptable level. The CHP's investigation is continuing.

     "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," a spokesman for the CHP explained.

     "As the level of mercury in the product is 11 101 times the acceptable level, use of 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 said.

Ends/Friday, July 4, 2014
Issued at HKT 18:37