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Feb 10, 2010
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Philippines finds mercury-laced Chinese cosmetics

Feb 10, 2010

MANILA, Feb 10, 2010 (AFP)- Philippine health regulators said Wednesday 10 February they have banned three apparently Chinese-made cosmetic products because they were found to contain dangerous levels of mercury.

Photo: AFP/File/Mark Ralston

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tests of the creams, all bearing the Jiaoli brand, found mercury levels "exceeding the allowable limit of one part per million," the health department said in an advisory.

It did not give details of the amount of mercury in the creams.

"Cosmetic products containing such impurities/contaminants that are way beyond the allowable limit clearly pose imminent danger of injury to the consuming public," it added.

FDA chief Nancy Tacandong said she was unaware of any mercury poisoning in the Philippines from the use of these three products, which she added "apparently came from China because they have Chinese characters."

The agency said shops found selling these products "will be penalised severely."

Chinese products have a history of falling foul of various national safety standards.

Asia-wide alarm bells were rung in 2008 when baby milk laced with the industrial chemical melamine led to the deaths of six babies and sickened 300,000 others who had been fed formula made from the tainted dairy.

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