Estimated reading time: 8 minute(s)
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has warned Nigerians to desist from using unauthorised cosmetics and dangerous chemicals for bleaching the skin to enhance their beauty.
The NAFDAC Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, gave the admonition over the weekend during the two-day retreat by the agency’s Top Management Committee (TMC) in Lagos State.
According to a statement issued on Sunday by the Resident Media Consultant to NAFDAC, Sayo Akintola, Prof. Adeyeye expressed shock at the proliferation of beauticians engaged in the formulation of unauthorised chemicals with the intention of applying them to their unsuspecting clients.
The NAFDAC boss said majority of Spa outlets in the country’s cosmopolitan cities were culpable of unhealthy practice of mixing chemicals and natural products like pawpaw, carrot, and other items to make creams for the clients’ use.
She added that these were thereafter packaged, labeled, and sold online to clients.
Adeyeye, however, lamented that the Spa owners have gone further to influence some clinics with medical doctors joining to carry out these nefarious activities which she said have advanced to include injected substances vitamin C infusion and glutathione on clients.
She further stated that the challenge in the enforcement of the agency’s safety regulations on bleaching agents at spas and other beauty outlets “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.”
The NAFDAC boss, however, warned that this practice must stop “as anyone apprehended by the agency would be prosecuted and jailed if convicted.”
She added that most of the products used in these mixes were smuggled into the country and were unregistered, citing formulations containing Kojic Acid, and Hydroquinone that are above their permissible limits in the formulations and therefore at risk of causing harm.
Adeyeye stated that it was for the same safety reason that the use of mercury was banned in cosmetics, saying: “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 noted that many of the importers smuggled 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.
The NAFDAC DG said the agency was on the heels of some people who engaged in online sales of dangerous unauthorised 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.
Adeyeye, however, said the agency was not against the use of cosmetics insisting they must be regulated and confirmed safe for human use.
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