Fears Mass Skin Cancer.
The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), has banned the sale of products that contain a chemical called, hydroquinone, mostly found in body bleaching creams. It use can cause skin cancer.
The ban which takes immediate effect was as a result of standards set by the Ghana Standards Board (GSB) on hydroquinone, which requires that cosmetic products, should be free of the chemical.
A statement copied The Herald by the FDA “wishes to remind the general public that, hydroquinone ceases to be part of ingredients permitted in Cosmetic products on the Ghanaian market with immediate effect”.
The regulatory body, warned strongly that, the extensive use of the chemical in cosmetics, could lead to thinning of the skin, poor wound healing and the development of permanent stretch marks, excessive sweating and pungent body odour.
“Additionally, the general public is reminded that indiscriminate and extensive use of cosmetics containing hydroquinone can lead to thinning of the skin, poor wound healing, and the development of permanent stretch marks, excessive sweating and bad odour amongst others”, the statement said.
The food and drugs regulator said it has already informed importers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers that cosmetic products containing hydroquinone were not to be seen on the Ghanaian market.
The statement signed by Acting Chief Executive of the Food and Drugs Authority, Mimi Darko, said it would deal with anyone who flouts the directive as stipulated by law.
The FDA, therefore, expects the Ghanaian market to be free of cosmetics containing hydroquinone and said, anyone found selling such products would be sanctioned in accordance with the law.
Before the ban, the FDA, allowed two percent of hydroquinone in skin bleaching products for skin lightening.
However, the increase in the sale of creams containing hydroquinone, has become a public health concern to people with many health practitioners warning against their use.
The FDA, encouraged the public to volunteer information on anyone found to be selling products containing the chemical or any other move that has the potential to endanger the health and safety of Ghanaians with respect to FDA ‘s mandate through the following numbers; HOTLINES – 0299802932, 0299802933, TOLL FREE NUMBER – 0800151000 (free only on Airtel and Vodafone) SMS SHORTCODE – 4015
You may also reach the regulator through these additional numbers: 0244337235, 0244254315, 0244337245, and 0200426256. The FDA assured the general Public of its continuous resolve to protect public health and safety at all times.