Health Ministry revokes notification of six cosmetic products found to contain poison

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) of the Health Ministry (MOH) has revoked the notification of six cosmetic products because they were found to contain scheduled poisons.

Health director-general of Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said four of the products were Flashhskinzz Moist Sunscreen, Serene Treatment Cream, Tempias Hawa Master Recovery Skin Rskin and Karisma Preventing Day Cream, which were found to contain mercury.

"The two other cosmetic products are SL Two Turmeric, which contained mercury and Betamethasone 17-Valerate, and SL Two Bird's Nest, which contained Hydroquinone, Tretinoin and Betamethasone 17-valerate," he said in a statement on Wednesday (March 22).

According to Dr Noor Hisham, mercury is prohibited in cosmetic products because it can be harmful to health, causing damage to the kidney and nervous system and can interfere with the brain development of young children or fetuses.

As for products containing hydroquinone, tretinoin and betamethasone 17-valerate, he said they need to be registered with the Drug Control Authority and can only be used with the advice of health professionals.

"The use of products containing these ingredients without the supervision of health professionals can cause unwanted side effects," he said, adding that hydroquinone can, among others, causes redness of the skin, discomfort, unwanted skin colour changes, prevent the process of depigmentation and increase the risk of skin cancer.

He said unsupervised use of tretinoin can cause redness, discomfort, soreness, peeling, and hypersensitivity to the skin, while Betamethasone 17-Valerate can cause the part of the facial skin that is applied to become thin and prone to irritation, pimples and changes in skin pigmentation.

It also increases the risk of being absorbed into the circulatory system which can have harmful effects, he added.

Dr Noor Hisham said the sellers and distributors of the products should stop selling and distributing them immediately and those caught doing so face a fine of up to RM25,000 or imprisonment for up to three years or both for the first offence and a maximum fine of RM50,000 or imprisonment for up to five years or both for subsequent offences as provided under the Drugs and Cosmetics Control Regulations 1984.

"Companies that commit the offence can be fined up to RM50,000 for the first offense and fined up to RM100,000 for subsequent offences," he said.

Those using the affected products are advised to immediately stop using them and seek the advice of a health professional if they experience any discomfort or adverse effects. - Bernama

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