AN ENVIRONMENT advocacy coalition that monitors products with toxic content asked the Quezon City government to put a stop to the sale of whitening products banned by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration.  

The Ecological Waste Coalition of the Philippines, Inc. (EcoWaste Coalition), in a press release, said they found during a market monitoring activity at least seven brands of skin products with high mercury concentrations being openly sold in the city.   

“To protect public health from the health-damaging effects of exposure to mercury in skin whitening cosmetics, we request the Quezon City Government to crack down on the illegal sale of such products,” the group said in a letter addressed to Mayor Maria Josefina “Joy” G. Belmonte.  

The seven banned products bought and tested by EcoWaste Coalition were:   

Collagen Plus Vit E Day and Night Cream from Indonesia, Erna Whitening Cream, Pakistan-made Goree Beauty Cream with Lycopene, Goree Day and Night Cream, China-made Jiaoli 7-Days Specific Eliminating Freckle AB Set, Jiaoli Miraculous Cream, and S’Zitang 10-Days Eliminating Freckle Day and Night Set. 

Mercury is a poison that can cause kidney damage, skin rashes, skin discoloration and scarring, reduced skin resistance to bacterial and fungal infections, anxiety, psychosis, and peripheral neuropathy, according to the World Health Organization.  

“We specifically request the City Health Department and other concerned offices to enforce the penalty provision of Quezon City Ordinance No. 2767 to encourage business compliance to the law,” EcoWaste, a network of more than 150 environment groups in the country, said in the letter to the city mayor.  

The ordinance bans and penalizes the manufacture, distribution and sale of mercury-containing skin whitening cosmetics in the city. — Marielle C. Lucenio