Mercury found in skin creams in 2012 and 2013 continues to pose danger to anyone who doesn't read the label correctly, because these dangerous beauty products can make their way on the market even without being approved by the FDA. Learn more about the dangers of beauty products containing mercury and how you can avoid them.

The FDA banned over 71 products just in 2012 because of the high levels of this toxic metal. The biggest threat seem to be skin lightening creams with mercury, but mercury has also been found in face creams and lotions.

Dangers of Beauty Products Containing Mercury

As a highly toxic substance, mercury in skin care products is extremely dangerous. Prolonged exposure to this metal can damage the nervous system, kidneys and is especially dangerous for pregnant women.

Symptoms of mercury poisoning include physical signs like changes in hearing or vision and a tingling sensation or numbness experienced in your hands, feet or around the mouth. Other symptoms caused by mercury in skin care products include tremors, irritability, depression and memory problems.

Reading Labels

While the person using a skin lightening cream with mercury or any other cosmetic product with a toxic level of this metal is affected the most, others can be too. Small children can be exposed to it simply by breathing the vapors from mercury in skin creams or ingest it by touching the skin of someone who uses beauty products containing mercury.

How to Avoid Mercury in Skin Care Products?

Produced overseas, skin lightening creams with mercury and other dangerous cosmetics who may contain high levels of this toxic metal aren't usually difficult to spot.

The FDA has issues a few guidelines that can help you identify lotions with mercury or any other hazardous cosmetic products. Avoid any product that doesn't include a label in English or a list of ingredients.

Found on most beauty products containing mercury, dangerous ingredients can be identified as everything from "mercury", "mercuric" and "mercurio" to other terms like "mercurous chloride" and "calomel".

If you think you've purchased beauty products containing mercury, stop using them immediately and consult your physician to determine if you've suffered poisoning from this dangerous chemical.

Getting rid of a skin lightening cream with mercury or any other product that seems harmful should be done by sealing it in a leak-proof container, like a plastic bag. Contact your local waste agency to find out if there are any special instructions on disposing of it.

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