Myanmar Health Sciences Research Journal
Volume 25, Number 2
TITLE: Determination of Mercury in Skin Cosmetics Widely Used in Myanmar.
AUTHOR: Ye Hein Htet; Khine Thin Naing; Than Than Swe; Tin Nwe Htwe; Nwe Nwe Soe; Theingi Khin; Khin Moe Latt; Khin Thet Wai; Kyaw Soe
SOURCE: Myanmar Health Sciences Research Journal. 2013; 25(2): 83-86
ABSTRACT: Mercury compounds are used as a skin whitening ingredient in some cosmetics. Such cosmetics are used because there are no toxic symptoms from early exposure; as mercury toxicity develops from chronic use. It is linked to kidney, nervous system, and gastrointestinal disorders. This study aimed to determine mercury content in skin cosmetics which are widely used, cheap and likelihood of counterfeit or low-quality brands available in Myanmar markets. To identify most commonly distributed skin whitening creams, total of eight wholesale shops in Yangon City (five from Theingyi Market and three from Mingalar Market) were selected. The shop owners were interviewed and asked for brands by using survey form and ranked priority of available and commonly distributed skin-whitening creams. Among them, ten brands were selected according to modal rank. These selected brands of cosmetics were purchased and coded. In all procedures, data were kept under strict confidentiality and all samples were subjected to analysis by Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer. Its lowest detection limit was 0.2 ppm. Total twelve samples from ten brands (two brands have morning and evening creams) were analyzed and mercury content of seven samples (five brands) were ranging from 12.9 ppm to 2314.9 ppm (the permissible level of USFDA=1 ppm), The results showed 50% of tested samples (5 brands) were higher in mercury content. These findings highlighted health warnings on usage of skin-whitening creams.
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