Bleach your body and go to jail, Nigeria drug agency warns citizens

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control,(NAFDAC) has warned Nigerians to desist from using unauthorized cosmetics and dangerous chemicals for bleaching of the skin to enhance their beauty.

Penpushing reports that, this warning was contained in a statement issued by Resident Media Consultant to the agency, Sayo Akintola at the brainstorming session during the two-day retreat by the agency’s Top Management Committee (TMC) in Lagos.

The statement said, the Director General of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye expressed shock in the proliferation of beauticians engaged in formulation of unauthorized chemicals with the intention of applying them on their unsuspecting clients.

Penpushing further reports that, she pointed out that , majority of Spa outlets in the nation’s cosmopolitan cities are culpable of this unhealthy practice of mixing chemicals and natural products like pawpaw, carrot to make creams, for the clients use.

The agency boss added that these are thereafter packaged, labeled, and sold online to clients, lamenting that the Spa owners have gone further to influence some clinics with medical Doctors joining to carry out these nefarious activities which has advanced to include injected substances vitamin C infusion and glutathione on clients.

Penpushing also reports that, she stated that the challenge in the enforcement of the agency’s safety regulations on bleaching agents at spas and other beauty parlors is that the products are prepared extemporaneously and covertly for individual clients.

The Director General noted that, rarely can you see the offending products on the shelves of these facilities, but however warned that this practice must stop declaring that anyone apprehended by the agency would be prosecuted and jailed if convicted.

Penpushing reports that, Adeyeye disclosed that most of the products used in these mixes are smuggled into the country and are unregistered, citing formulations containing Kojic Acid, and Hydroquinone that are above their permissible limits in the formulations and therefore at risk of causing harm.

The agency boss pointed out that it was for the same safety reason that the use of mercury was banned in cosmetics, stressing that the products are not just ban because they are bleaching agents, but prohibited because of the harmful effect

“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’.

The Director General   highlighted the fact that the lightening of skin today could be cancer tomorrow, stating that many of the importers smuggle the products into the country under the guise of Global listing to bypass the agency inspection.

Penpushing further reports that, she added  that bleaching has become a pandemic amongst both women and their male counterparts, declaring that the agency is on the heels of some people who engaged in online sales of dangerous unauthorized cosmetics and other products.

The agency boss added that the Investigation and Enforcement Directorate of the organisation has been given the directive to apprehend merchants of these dangerous products and bring them to book, and explained that the agency is not against the use of cosmetics insisting however, that they must be regulated and confirmed safe for human use.

Penpushing reports that, she highlighted that the agency must uphold its mandate of citizens protection, by ensuring that the quality and safety of goods produced internally and imported into the country go through processes that meet global best practices.

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