NAFDAC Moves Against Producers of Unauthorised Cosmetics

*Says such products cause cancer, liver, kidney damage

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, (NAFDAC) has said it is out to arrest beauticians engaging in formulation of unauthorised chemicals with the intention of applying them on their unsuspecting clients.

It said the Investigation and Enforcement Directorate of NAFDAC has been given the directive to apprehend merchants of such dangerous products and bring them to book.
NAFDAC Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, who disclosed this at a two-day retreat by the agency’s Top Management Committee (TMC) in Lagos, warned that those who engage in abuse of bleaching agents, risk skin cancer, damaged internal organs, and even death.

In a statement signed by the Resident Media Consultant to NAFDAC, Sayo Akintola, in Lagos yesterday, Adeyeye, warned Nigerians to desist from using unauthorised cosmetics and dangerous chemicals for bleaching of the skin to enhance their beauty.
She expressed shock over the proliferation of beauticians engaged in formulation of unauthorised chemicals with the intention of applying them on their unsuspecting clients.

According to the NAFDAC boss, majority of Spa outlets in the nations cosmopolitan cities are culpable of this unhealthy practice of mixing chemicals and natural products like pawpaw, carrot, etc, to make creams, for the clients’ usage.
She added that these are thereafter packaged, labeled, and sold online to clients. She lamented 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.

Adeyeye stated that the challenge in the enforcement of the agency’s safety regulations on bleaching agents at spas and other beauty parlors was that the products are prepared extemporaneously and covertly for individual clients and therefore difficulty to track.
“Rarely can you see the offending products on the shelves of these facilities,” she said.

Notwithstanding, she warned that this practice must stop, saying anyone apprehended by the agency would be prosecuted and jailed if convicted.
The DG disclosed that most of the products used in the process were usually 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. She pointed out that it was for the same safety reason that the use of mercury was banned in cosmetics.

Adeyeye further said: “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 strongly highlighted the fact that the lightening of skin today could be cancer tomorrow.
She noted that many of the importers smuggle 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.

She further disclosed that the agency is on the trail of some people who engage in online sales of dangerous unauthorised cosmetics and other products.

Furthermore, Adeyeye pointed out that the agency was not against the use of cosmetics, insisting however, that they must be regulated and confirmed safe for human use. 

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