´╗┐Watch out for unsafe cosmetic creams (with photo)

15 Jan 2009

The Customs officers have recently drawn from the market a batch of samples of cosmetic cream for safety test.

In subsequent testing of samples of “Jiaoli” cosmetic cream conducted by the Government Chemist, the mercury contents found from the samples ranged from 3,500 parts per million (ppm) to 11,000 ppm. The tolerable limit of mercury content stipulated in the “Hygienic Standards for Cosmetics” of the National Standard of the People’s Republic of China is 1 ppm.

So far, the Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) has seized seven boxes of “Jiaoli” cosmetic cream from a shop located in Central. Enforcement actions are continuing.

According to professional advice from the Department of Health, mercury poisoning is caused by overdose of mercury in the body, causing damage mainly to the nervous systems and kidneys. Symptoms may include tremor, irritability, insomnia, memory deterioration, difficulty with concentrating, impaired hearing and vision or change in taste. In most severe cases, renal failure may occur.

A Customs spokesman today (January 15) said that the department was committed to the protection of consumer interests by ensuring that consumer goods, including cosmetic products, were reasonably safe for use by consumers.

”The department keeps a close watch on unsafe products announced by local, Mainland and overseas authorities, and regularly conducts surprise checks at retailers and draws samples for safety tests,” he added.

Under the Consumer Goods Safety Ordinance, it is an offence to supply, manufacture or import into Hong Kong consumer goods unless the goods comply with the general safety requirement for consumer goods.

The maximum penalty for the offence is a fine of $100,000 and an imprisonment for one year on first conviction, and $500,000 and an imprisonment for two years on subsequent conviction.

To report unsafe consumer goods, consumers can write to the Consumer Protection Bureau, Customs and Excise Department on the 11th floor, North Point Government Offices, 333 Java Road, North Point or call the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.

Ends/Thursday, January 15, 2009

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