City of Quezon. Toxics watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition submitted a letter on August 31 urging Facebook Philippines management to take immediate action to make the FB Marketplace safe from mercury-containing cosmetics.
In a letter to John Rubio, Country Manager of FB Philippines, the group reported the improper use of FB Marketplace to buy and sell unauthorized cosmetics, in particular skin whitening creams containing mercury, a powerful banned neurotoxin. as an ingredient in cosmetic products.
According to the group’s monitoring, “there are dozens of advertisements on FB Marketplace for skincare cosmetics that have been warned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to contain substandard levels of mercury and/or for not having the required marketing authorization.”
“We call on your office to take immediate action that will result in the permanent removal of FDA-warned cosmetics listings from Facebook Marketplace, the rejection of product labels for these cosmetics, and the suspension or termination of non-compliant accounts promoting from the purchase or sale of unauthorized or banned cosmetic products, particularly targeting skin lightening products loaded with mercury and other dangerous chemicals,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition. “Please make the FB Marketplace mercury-free.”
“We believe that Facebook does not condone this practice, which violates its Community Standards and Guidelines,” she said. “We also understand that Facebook has invested in people, as well as artificial intelligence, to protect the massively popular platform from harmful content, products and services.”
Among the FDA-warned cosmetics offered for sale on FB Marketplace are illegally imported skin lightening products Collagen Plus Vit E, Erna, Golden Pearl, Goree, Jiaoli and S’Zitang, the group reported.
To illustrate how contaminated these FDA-warned cosmetics are, the EcoWaste Coalition shared with Facebook the results of recent tests conducted by the Wonjin Institute for Occupational and Environmental Health (WIOEH) for samples purchased by the group from retailers outside online and online.
For example, Goree Day & Night Beauty Cream, Goree Beauty Cream with Lycopene, and Golden Pearl Beauty Cream contain 58,400 parts per million (ppm), 46,900 ppm, and 15,600 ppm of mercury respectively, well above the limit of 1 ppm. .
Mercury is highly toxic to human health. To protect public health, as well as the environment, from exposure to mercury, the Minamata Convention on Mercury phased out in 2020 the manufacture, import and export of cosmetics such as skin lightening creams. skin and soaps with mercury content above 1 ppm.
Before the said treaty entered into force, the ASEAN Cosmetics Directive in 2007 listed mercury and its compounds among the substances not authorized in the composition of cosmetic products. However, the illegal production and trade of mercury-containing skin lightening products persists despite the global push to eliminate mercury in cosmetics.
“Facebook’s action will help protect human health and the environment from the harmful effects of mercury exposure, and safeguard the well-being of digital consumers, especially members of the FB community,” said the EcoWaste Coalition.
The EcoWaste Coalition is a non-profit environmental health organization working for a waste-free and toxic-free society. One of the priorities of its program is to promote public awareness and safety against dangerous chemicals in products such as mercury in skin lightening cosmetics, which can seriously endanger the health of consumers, especially women of childbearing age.
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