China Watch Blog has learnt that more than 20% of the whitening and freckle-reducing cosmetic products consumers can easily find on the market contain excessive heavy metals.
The revelation was made by a survey by 11 non-governmental organizations which said that the national standard for mercury content in cosmetics is below 1 part per million. But mercury content found in 23% of the sample products exceeded standards by 18 to 44,000 times.
Volunteers from the 11 NGOs randomly chose 477 whitening and freckle-reducing products in 10 cities across China and tested the heavy metal in them, using X-ray fluorescence.
Selected samples varied in price and sales channels, from stores online and offline. But many of the problematic products were bought in wholesale markets, according to a China Daily report.
“I was surprised by the results,” said Joseph DiGangi, senior scientific adviser from International POPs Elimination Network, one of the major organizers. “And we found that whether the cosmetic products have excessive heavy metal is not relevant to prices.”
Many of the samples with excessive heavy metal found in the survey use words like herbal medicine and Chinese drugs on the package, yet about 20 of the 112 problematic products contain at least three types of heavy metal – mercury, lead and arsenic.
“None of the problematic products have cited the content of heavy metal in their trade description, which is also against the law,” said Wang Qiuxia, a researcher from Beijing-based Daerwen Environmental Institute, another major player in the survey.If you think China Watch Blog's information is useful, click on cup of coffee on left hand side and make a small contribution via PayPal