The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Wednesday expressed concern over the use of bleaching creams and skin whitening agents.
The agency warned that the chemicals in those creams, apart from causing cancer, could lead to psychiatric and kidney problems.
Director-General of the agency, Dr. Paul Orhi, speaking during the first NAFDAC Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) training for cosmetics and medical devices manufacturers in Lagos, said the use of glutathione intravenous as a skin whitener was unsafe and might result in serious consequences, including cancer.
He lamented that the urge to satisfy customers’ ever-increasing demands and the bid to make profits had driven some cosmetics manufacturers into experimenting with raw materials with little or no safety records.
Orhi vowed that the agency would not hesitate to shut down any company, which failed to comply with good manufacturing practice or caught with the banned chemicals.
He said: “Skin bleaching is a cosmetic treatment to reduce the prominence of skin discolourations and even out skin colour.
“Some people apply skin lightener to their entire body to change their complexion, but this can be very risky. The active ingredient in some skin lighteners is mercury and so bleaching can lead to mercury poisoning.”