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

     The Department of Health (DH) today (June 30) appealed to members of the public not to buy or use a cosmetic cream product (without English name, see photo) as it may contain excessive mercury, which is dangerous to health.

     The appeal followed the DH's receipt of notification of a case of mercury poisoning from the Hospital Authority (HA) involving a female patient aged 31. The DH commenced investigation immediately.

     The patient was admitted to Tseung Kwan O Hospital on May 29 for swelling of lower limbs. She described a recent history of use of the above product for a few months before symptoms appeared. Her urine sample revealed a mercury level higher than the acceptable level and this was clinically suspected to be related to the use of the above product. She was discharged after treatment on June 1 and is currently in stable condition.

     The product sample submitted by the patient has been tested by the HA and the laboratory results today revealed that the level of mercury was 6,411 times the acceptable level. The DH's investigation is continuing. The case has been referred to the Customs and Excise Department for follow-up investigation.

     "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 DH explained.

     "As the content of mercury in the above product is as high as 6,411 times the acceptable level, using the product may cause serious side-effects. People who have used it should stop immediately and consult healthcare 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/Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Issued at HKT 19:36


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