National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has raised concerns about the increasing interest on Nigerians on some skin care products some of which are extremely harmful to the skin and the body generally.
NAFDAC Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, in a statement, on Sunday, highlighted the dangers of using some of the bleaching chemicals on the skin to enhance their beauty, and advised that people desist from using some of the unauthorized cosmetics and dangerous chemicals for bleaching of the skin.
She accused majority of Spa outlets in the nation’s cosmopolitan cities of being culpable of the unhealthy practice of mixing chemicals and natural products like pawpaw, carrot, etc, to make creams, for clients use.
She lamented that Spa owners have gone further to influence some clinics with medical doctors joining to carry out these “nefarious” activities which has advanced to include injected substances such as vitamin C infusion and glutathione on clients, while some of the products are thereafter packaged, labeled, and sold online to clients.
The NAFDAC boss further disclosed that most of the products used in these mixtures are smuggled into the country and are unregistered, citing formulations containing Kojic Acid, and Hydroquinone that are above their permissible limits in the formulations and therefore at risk of causing harm.
She pointed out that it was for the same safety reason that the use of mercury was banned in cosmetics. “We don’t just ban products because they are bleaching agents but are prohibited because of safety issues surrounding a particular ingredients in the products as they could cause skin cancer as well as damage the liver and kidney. Lightening of skin today could be cancer tomorrow.”
She confirmed that NAFDAC is on the heels of some people who engaged in online sales of dangerous unauthorized cosmetics and other products, adding that the Investigation and Enforcement Directorate of NAFDAC has been directed to apprehend merchants of these dangerous products and bring them to book.
“However, the challenge in the enforcement of these safety regulations on bleaching agents at Spas and other beauty parlors is that the products are prepared extemporaneously and covertly for individual clients. Rarely can you see the offending products on the shelves of these facilities.”
Notwithstanding, she warned that this practice must stop as anyone apprehended by the Agency would be prosecuted and jailed if convicted.
She emphasized the point that NAFDAC is not against the use of cosmetics insisting, however, that they must be regulated and confirmed safe for human use.
She also highlighted that the Agency must uphold its mandate of citizens protection, by ensuring that the quality and safety of goods produced internally and imported into the country go through processes that meet global best practices.
She noted that many of the importers smuggle the products into the country under the guise of Global listing to bypass NAFDAC inspection, stressing that bleaching has become a pandemic amongst both women and their male counterparts.