NAFDAC Moves to Arrest Producers of Unauthorised Cosmetics

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has vowed 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 these dangerous products and bring them to book.

NAFDAC Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, who disclosed this at the 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 country’s cosmopolitan cities are culpable of this unhealthy practice of mixing chemicals and natural products like pawpaw, carrot among others to make creams for their clients use.

She 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 have advanced to include injected substances like 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 parlours is that the products are prepared extemporaneously and covertly for individual clients, and therefore difficulty to track.

The statement said: “Rarely can you see the offending products on the shelves of these facilities.”

 Notwithstanding, she warned that this practice must stop as anyone apprehended by the agency would be prosecuted and jailed if convicted.

The DG 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.

She pointed out that it was for the same safety reason that the use of mercury was banned in cosmetics.

Adeyeye said the agency is not against the use of cosmetics, insisting, however, that they must be regulated and confirmed safe for human use.

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