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Ghana: Skin Bleaching Detrimental to Health- FDA

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The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has warned members of the public against the use and abuse of skin lightening and lip shine cosmetics as they could result in serious health implications.

Mr Emmanuel Nkrumah, Head of Cosmetics and Household Chemicals Department of the FDA stated that the abuse of unapproved cosmetics that found their ways onto the market damaged the heart, kidney, liver as well as gave users various kinds of skin cancers, skin infections, stretch marks and extreme pressure on the skin.

“The pigment that gives the skin its colours has a protective function because it prevents the direct effect of the ultraviolet (UV) light that is exposed to the inner layers because it has been established that the continuous exposure of the skin to the UV light or direct sun could cause cancer.” He added.

Mr Nkrumah gave the warning in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region during a media engagement to educate journalists in the region on the new dynamics of the FDA and how the media could contribute to ensure public health and safety with regards to the use of harmful unapproved products.

Describing the issue of skin brightening as a social phenomenon that needed collective attention, Mr Nkrumah said the psychic of people to look fair to be beautiful in order to be attractive to the opposite sex had been a major driving force behind the use of the products or substances.

He admonished members of the public not to sacrifice their health in search for beauty because “beauty is not about the skin.”

He expressed worry at the rate at which people turned to use certain chemical products to brighten their lips, indicating that FDA, apart from toothpaste, lipstick or lip shine had not approved any pills or tablets to be used on the lips for bleaching purposes.

While urging members of the public to look out for FDA labels on products before purchasing, Mr Nkrumah warned entrepreneurs engaged in the wholesale of the unapproved products on the local market to desist from the act as FDA was committed to enforcing the law that banned the use and sale of the hazardous cosmetics.

Mr James Lartey, Head of Communications and Public Education of the FDA called on the media to complement the FDA’s efforts in sensitising the public on the use and abuse of these cosmetics on the health of the individuals and admonished the journalists and the general public to report miscreants that flouted the FDA directives and the Public Health Act to the FDA for appropriate actions to be taken.

GNA

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