Products containing excessive mercury banned in city

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BAGUIO CITY  – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance banning the manufacture, distribution and sale of cosmetics containing mercury that exceeds the allowable limit of one ppm as prescribed by the Foods and Drugs Administration (FDA).

The ordinance authored by Vice Mayor Faustino A. Olowan states it will be a declared policy of the local government to ban the manufacture, distribution and sale of cosmetics containing mercury above the 1 ppm set by the FDA in line with the Association of  Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Cosmetic Directive.

The ordinance points out the local government recognizes it has the responsibility to enact measures to promote public health and safety of everyone living in the different parts of the city.

Under the proposed ordinance, it shall be unlawful to manufacture, import, market, promote, distribute and sale cosmetics with mercury exceeding 1 ppm; sale, wholesale, or retail the same which have not been authorized by the FDA or have not complied with labelling requirements as required by FDA and open dumping and open burning or disposal of banned or recalled and or confiscated mercury containing cosmetics along with city solid waste.

Violators of the proposed local legislative measure shall be fined P2,000 and confiscation of banned products for the first offense, a fine of P3,000 and suspension of permit to operate business until compliance with the provisions of the measure for the second offense and a fine of P5,000 or imprisonment of the business operator for 30 days or cancellation of business license by the city or both at the discretion of the court for the third offense.

Further, all those convicted by the court for violation of the provisions of the ordinance shall be required to render 30 days of community service to be determined by the concerned local government authorities.

The ordinance tasks the City Public Order and Safety Division (POSD) and the City Permits and Licensing Division under the City Mayor’s Office and the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) to closely monitor the implementation of the provisions of the local legislative measure.

Olowan noted that provisions of the 1987 Constitution guarantees the protection and right to health and healthful ecology of the people aside from the fact that provisions of Republic Act (RA) 7394 or the Consumer Welfare Act of the Philippines prohibits the manufacture, importation, exportation, sale, distribution or transport of any food, drug, devise or cosmetics that is adulterated and mis-labelled.

Moreover, the FDA Act of 2009 also prohibits the manufacture, importation, exportation, sale, offering for sale, distribution

Earlier, environmentalists confirmed the alleged unabated sale of cosmetics contaminated with chemical poisons like mercury and lead are harmful to human health as well as the environment.

An environmental watchdog found there were 14 out of 15 creams sold in the city allegedly contain excessive mercury that pose a serious threat to the health of people.

By Dexter A. See

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