The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has raised an alarm over the adverse effects of an excessive use of bleaching creams and skin whitening agents.
The agency on Wednesday, October 7, 2015 disclosed that aside from causing cancer, the chemicals used to produce such creams could also lead to psychiatric and kidney problems.
They further warned people to desist from using banned chemicals by unscrupulous cosmetics manufacturers.
Director-General of the agency, Dr. Paul Orhii, made this disclosure during the first NAFDAC’s Good Manufacturing Practice, GMP, training for cosmetics and medical devices manufacturers in Lagos State.
Orhii noted that the use of glutathione intravenous as a skin whitener was unsafe and might result in serious consequences, including cancer.
He expressed concern that the urge to satisfy customers’ ever-increasing demands and the bid to make profits had driven some cosmetics manufacturers into experimenting with raw materials with little or no safety records.
Orhii vowed that the agency would not hesitate to shut down any company, which failed to comply with good manufacturing practice or caught with the banned chemicals.
He said: “Skin bleaching is a cosmetic treatment to reduce the prominence of skin discolourations and even out skin colour.
“Some people apply skin lightener to their entire body to change their complexion, but this can be very risky. The active ingredient in some skin lighteners is mercury and so bleaching can lead to mercury poisoning.”