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Mecury Poisoning

Mercury Poisoning Linked to Skin Products
Federal health officials are warning consumers not to use skin creams, beauty and antiseptic soaps, or lotions that might contain mercury. The products are marketed as skin lighteners and anti-aging treatments that remove age spots, freckles, blemishes and wrinkles. The products are manufactured abroad and sold illegally in the United States and online. You don’t have to use the product yourself to be affected. People, particularly children, can get mercury in their bodies from breathing in mercury vapors if a member of the household uses a skin cream containing mercury. Infants and small children can ingest mercury if they touch their parents who have used these products, get cream on their hands and then put their hands and fingers into their mouth, which they are prone to do.
How to Protect Yourself
• Check the label of any skin lightening, anti-aging or other skin product you use. If you see the words “mercurous chloride,” “calomel,” “mercuric,” “mercurio,” or “mercury,” stop using the product immediately.
• If there is no label or no ingredients are listed, do not use the product. Federal law requires that ingredients be listed on the label of any cosmetic or drug.
• Don’t use products labeled in languages other than English unless English labeling is also provided.
• If you suspect you have been using a product with mercury, stop using it immediately. Thoroughly wash your hands and any other parts of your body that have come in contact with the product. Contact your health care professional or a medical care clinic for advice.
• If you have questions, call your health care professional or the Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222; it is open 24 hours a day.
• Before throwing out a product that may contain mercury, seal it in a plastic bag or leak-proof container. Check with your local environmental, health or solid waste agency for disposal instructions. Some communities have special collections or other options for disposing of household hazardous waste.



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1935 County Road B2 West Suite 100 Roseville, MN 55113 (651) 636-4155