… Warns against the use of bleaching agents
By Chioma Obinna
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, on Sunday accused Spa outlets of mixing dangerous chemicals for unsuspecting Nigerians, threatening to prosecute any facility apprehended.
The Agency also warned against the abuse of bleaching agents, adding that, such agents have dangerous chemicals that can cause skin cancer and damage internal organs like the kidney.
The Director General of the Agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye who spoke during a brainstorming session during the two-day retreat by the Agency’s Top Management Committee (TMC) in Lagos expressed shock at the proliferation of beauticians engaged in the formulation of unauthorised chemicals with the intention of applying them on their unsuspecting clients.
According to her, the 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 client’s use.
Adeyeye added that these are thereafter packaged, labelled, 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.
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 rarely can you see the offending products on the shelves of these facilities.
She warned that this practice must stop as anyone apprehended by the Agency would be prosecuted and jailed if convicted.
While urging Nigerians to desist from using unauthorized cosmetics, 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.
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.
She further disclosed that the Agency is on the heels of some people who engaged in online sales of dangerous unauthorized cosmetics and other products, adding that the Investigation and Enforcement Directorate of NAFDAC has been given the directive to apprehend merchants of these dangerous products and bring them to book. In closing, she emphasized the point that the Agency is not against the use of cosmetics insisting however, that they must be regulated and confirmed safe for human use. She highlighted that the Agency must uphold its mandate of citizens protection, by ensuring that the quality and safety of goods produced internally and imported into the country go through processes that meet global best practices.
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