QC Cracks Whip Vs. Mercury-Laden Cosmetics

To ensure the strict compliance of businesses on the ban on whitening products that contain mercury, the Quezon City government has passed an ordinance prohibiting the manufacture, distribution and sale of these cosmetics in the city.

Authored by Councilor Elizabeth Delarmente, Ordinance No. 2767 mandates that all manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers, including street “tiangge” (market) and online vendors, in the city are obliged to cease engagements in business activities involving the production and trade of mercury-laden products.

Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte noted that the ordinance will strengthen the enforcement of the national regulation on the ban on cosmetics containing mercury above the one ppm (parts per million) limit by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“This ordinance aims to ensure that all our business establishments comply with the regulations set by the FDA on businesses selling whitening products, especially since these products are becoming more popular and affordable,” Belmonte said in an interview Friday.

“Mercury is highly toxic, and exposure to mercury could lead to skin disorders or even damage to the brain and other body organs. Launching an information drive on mercury and the beauty and health products that may contain it, will help people think twice about what they purchase and use for their skin,” she added.

The ordinance provides that violators will face a fine of PHP2,000 and confiscation of products for the first offense; a PHP3,000 fine and suspension to operate business for the second offense; and a PHP5,000 fine and imprisonment of 30 days or cancellation of business license, or both for the third offense.

It also provides that the City Health Department will lead the implementation of the ordinance, which includes information dissemination to concerned business establishments and an awareness campaign on the health & environmental hazards of mercury-containing products. (PNA)

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