Women Need to Know This Before it is Late

Written by CN Chikezie

More attention needs to be focused on restricting skin lightening products

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mercury is a common ingredient found in skin lightening soaps and creams.

The most dangerous effect of the inorganic mercury contained in skin lightening soaps and creams is kidney damage. Mercury in these products may also cause physical reactions such as scarring, reduction in the skin’s resistance to bacterial and fungal infections, and also psychological outcomes such as anxiety, depression or psychosis, and peripheral neuropathy.

For instance, mercury in soaps, creams and other cosmetic products is eventually discharged into waste water. The mercury then enters the environment, where it becomes methylated and enters the food-chain as the highly toxic methylmercury in fish. Pregnant women who consume fish containing methylmercury transfer the mercury to their fetuses, which can later result in neurodevelopmental deficits in the children.

Unfortunately, a generation of women is negatively being affected by excess usage of these products and in many instances the environment, including the water supply and food chain, is dramatically being affected in countries where people of color live and consume skin bleaching products. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that skin lightening products have caused a silent, but deadly epidemic in public health that needs to be addressed immediately.