MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota woman recently reported feeling sick after using a skin-lightening product. Multiple urine tests later confirmed that she had elevated levels of mercury in her body from the product.
According to the Minnesota Department of Health, the woman was using a “Nunn Care Crema Limpiadora” product that she had ordered online. It was later tested and found to have a high mercury content.
People use the products for a variety of medical and personal reasons — they mainly come in the form of a creams, powders or soaps. But experts say that skin product ingredient lists are often not complete, and that it’s best to stop using all skin lightening products that aren’t prescribed by a dermatologist.
If someone is using a product with a high amount of mercury, everyone in their household is at risk of exposure to it.
Symptoms of mercury exposure include weight loss, tremors, edema, rashes, fatigue, insomnia, depression, anxiety and irritability.
Removing the source of exposure is the most effective treatment for the illness.
If you have a product that you suspect contains dangerous levels of mercury, you’re asked to responsibly dispose of it at a household hazardous waste site, as the chemicals are at risk of damaging the environment.
Contact Minnesota Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 with any questions about potential exposure to mercury.