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Banned mercury still widely used in skin creams

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Disturbingly, research by consumer groups has found that up to 20% of whitening creams studied are highly contaminated with mercury. 

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Some of the whitening products sold in Thailand that have been found to be contaminated with mercury. APICHIT JINAKUL.


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Banned mercury still widely used in skin creams

Judging from local TV advertising, whitening creams must be one of Thailand’s most sought-after products.

It is a highly competitive business and the cosmetic companies that sell the creams are constantly looking for new substances to make the skin look whiter and fresher.

They all should know, however, that one whitening substance to avoid is mercury. It works – blocking the production of skin-colouring melanin – but it also has nasty side effects. The prolonged use of products containing mercury can lead to inflammation of the liver, kidneys and urinary tract.

Disturbingly, research by consumer groups has found that up to 20% of whitening creams studied are highly contaminated with mercury.

The Foundation For Consumers and the Ecological Alert and Recovery-Thailand (Earth) yesterday released findings of the study after conducting experiments on 47 different kinds of whitening creams sold across the country.

Jutamas Suppradid, a researcher at Earth, said the product with the highest amount of mercury contained 99,070 parts per million of mercury, despite the fact that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) bans the use of the toxic substance in cosmetics.

Some of the products found contaminated were FC Rice Milk Cream, White Rose Sheep Placenta Cream, Best Beauty Pearl Cream and Baby Face Cream. Manufacturers have been told to remove them from the market.

Adapted from a story in today’s Bangkok Post

contaminated – made dirty, polluted or poisonous by the addition of a chemical, waste or infection ปนเปื้อน
mercury – a chemical element. Mercury is a poisonous silver liquid metal, used in thermometers สารปรอท
banned – officially not allowed ถูกห้าม
judge – to form an opinion about somebody/something, based on the information you have  คาดคะเน
local – in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about  ท้องถิ่น
advertising – telling the public about a product or a service, political candidate, etc. in order to encourage people to buy, use or support it การโฆษณา
sought-after – wanted; having a high demand เป็นที่ต้องการ
competitive – having a high level of close competition แข่งขันสูง
cosmetic – involving substances, treatments, etc. that which are intended to improve the appearance of your face or body ซึ่งทำให้สวยงาม
constantly – continuously; all the time อย่างต่อเนื่อง
substance – a particular type of liquid, solid, or gas สาร
avoid – to stay away from; to not use หลีกเลี่ยง
block – to stop someone/ something from moving through or along something else  ปิดกั้น, กีดขวาง
melanin – a dark substance in the skin, eyes, and hair that gives them their colour เม็ดสีดำน้ำตาลในผิวหนัง ผม เนื้อเยื่อ
nasty – bad or very unpleasant อันตราย, น่าวิตก
side effect – an unpleasant effect of a drug that happens in addition to the main effect ผลข้างเคียง
prolonged – continuing for a long time ยืดเวลาออกไป
inflammation – a red, painful and often swollen area in or on a part of your body การอักเสบ
liver – a large organ in the body that cleans the blood and produces bile  ตับ
kidney – one of the two organs in your body that clean your blood and remove waste ไต
urinary tract – the organ system that produces, stores, and eliminates urine, liquid waste, from the body
disturbing – making you feel extremely worried or upset ที่ขุ่นเคืองใจ
research – a careful study of a subject, especially in order to discover new facts or information about it การวิจัย
consumer – someone who buys and uses goods and services ผู้บริโภค
foundation – an organisation that provides money for things such as medical research or for a charity มูลนิธิ
ecological – of the system of relationships between the air, land, water, animals, plants, etc., usually of a particular area เกี่ยวกับความสัมพันธ์ระหว่างสิ่งมีชีวิตในระบบนิเวศน์
alert – a warning to people to be prepared to deal with something dangerous การเตือนให้ระวัง
recovery – the process of becoming normal and healthy again การฟื้นฟู

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