By Zayamu Hassan
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has raised concern over the increasing use of bleaching cream in the country.
It however, warned that users of bleaching agents risk skin cancer, damaged internal organs and even death.
In a statement, NAFDAC warned Nigerians against using unauthorized cosmetics and dangerous chemicals for bleaching of the skin to enhance their beauty.
The statement which was signed by the Resident Media Consultant to NAFDAC, Sayo Akintola, quoted the Director General of NAFDAC as expressing shock over the proliferation of beauticians engaged in formulation of unauthorized chemicals with the intention of applying them on their unsuspecting clients.
According to the NAFDAC boss, majority of Spa outlets in the nation’s cosmopolitan cities are culpable of this unhealthy practice of mixing chemicals and natural products like pawpaw, carrot, etc. to make creams, for the clients use.
She added that these are thereafter packaged, labeled, and sold online to clients. She lamented that the Spa owners have gone further to influence some clinics with medical doctors joining to carry out these nefarious activities which has advanced to include injected substances vitamin C infusion and glutathione on clients.
Explaining further, she stated that the challenge in the enforcement of the Agency’s safety regulations on bleaching agents at spas and other beauty parlors is that the products are prepared extemporaneously and covertly for individual clients and therefore, rarely can you see the offending products on the shelves of these facilities.
Notwithstanding, she warned that this practice must stop as anyone apprehended by the Agency would be prosecuted and jailed if convicted.
She disclosed that most of the products used in these mixes are smuggled into the country and are unregistered, citing formulations containing Kojic Acid, and Hydroquinone that are above their permissible limits in the formulations and therefore at risk of causing harm. She pointed out that it was for the same safety reason that the use of mercury was banned in cosmetics.
Prof. Adeyeye said: “we don’t just ban products because they are bleaching agents but are prohibited because of safety issues surrounding particular ingredients in the products as they could cause skin cancer as well as damage the liver and kidney. She strongly highlighted the fact that the lightening of skin today could be cancer tomorrow.
She noted that many of the importers smuggle the products into the country under the guise of Global listing to bypass NAFDAC inspection, adding that bleaching has become a pandemic amongst both women and their male counterparts.