MoH bans eight cosmetic and health supplement products

National 2 minutes, 43 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Ministry of Health has banned another eight cosmetic and health supplement products that were found to contain harmful substances.

In a press statement issued yesterday, the ministry said the Multivitamin Super Gemuk Tablet health supplement was found to be adulterated with dexamethasone, while Birdnest Chong Chau Pi Pa and Pill contained chlorpheniramine and dexamethasone.

The affected cosmetic products are Citra-Day & Night Cream Lasting White (Yellow Cream), Citra-Lasting White Bubuk Mutiara Cina Moisturiser, Citra-Lasting White Bubuk Mutiara Cina Moisturiser (Night Cream), Citra-Pearly White UV, and Bubuk Mutiara Cina Facial Moisturiser (Night Cream).

The government also ordered shops to stop selling Citra-Spotless White Glow UV Beras Jepang & Ekstrak Teh Hijau Pelembab Wajah Day & Night Cream and Citra-Mulberry & Minyak Biji Anggur Pelembab Wajah Day & Night Cream.

The six cosmetic products were adulterated with mercury, a potent ingredient that is prohibited in cosmetic products as stipulated in the Medicines (Cosmetic Products) Regulations 2007.

“Mercury is prohibited in cosmetic products due to its hazardous effects on human health. It is readily absorbed through the skin on topical application and tends to accumulate in the body.

“Exposure to mercury can cause skin rashes, memory loss and muscle weakness while high exposures may result in damage to the brain and kidneys. It is also extremely toxic to unborn children,” the statement read.

The ministry said long-term consumption of corticosteroids such as dexamethasone can increase blood glucose levels and may lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, cataracts, muscular and bone disorders, and an increased risk of infections.

Consumers who have taken high doses of steroids over a prolonged period of time may suffer from withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, muscle and joint pain, fever, low blood sugar, low blood pressure and dehydration.

It added that dizziness, lowering of blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, confusion, depression and convulsions are among the adverse effects from unsupervised use of chlorpheniramine.

The ministry said it has never issued any approval for the importation and/or Cosmetic Notification Acknowledgement Letter for the sale of said products.

Members of the public who have purchased or used the products are advised to stop using them immediately.

They should also consult a medical practitioner if they feel unwell or experience any undesirable reactions as a result of using them.

Members of the public involved in the retail of these products (including online retail such as through Facebook) were reminded that it is an offence under the Poisons Act 1956 to sell products containing any substance controlled under the said Act.

The penalty for such an offence upon conviction, is a fine of $8,000 or six months’ imprisonment.

Furthermore, if a person commits an act that amounts to such a degree of negligence so as to endanger or be likely to endanger human life, then such person shall be guilty of an offence that carries a penalty of a $16,000 fine and 12 months in jail.

The ministry also called for public cooperation to report to the Pharmacy Enforcement Section if any of these products are still found in Brunei’s market.

The public may contact the Pharmacy Enforcement Section at 2393298 extension 208, e-mail pharmacy.enforcement@moh.gov.bn or visit the first floor of the Department of Pharmaceutical Services building, in Kg Madaras, Mukim Gadong A.

The Brunei Times