By Rose Oladele
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC) has raised an alarm over increasng rate at which some Nigerians were using skin lightening products especially glutathione which comes in form of pills and injections.
NAFDAC is advising against its use, as well as other skin whitening chemicals which it warns increases in the risk of skin cancer and kidney dysfunction.
It said frequent injections might lead to abdominal pain, ranging from moderate to severe. The chemical also makes skin more sensitive to the sun making it more vulnerable to the harmful UV rays. Kidney dysfunction can be caused when glutathione overloads the renal circulation.
Prof. Moji Adeyeye, the Director-General of NAFDAC, in a recent interview with NAN in Abuja, stated that a lot of people were involved in the use of whitening agents, from glutathione injection to tablets and other chemicals.
Worrying that there is an alarming upsurge of the importation and distribution of dangerous whitening products within the country, Adeyeye disclosed that her agency confisticated four trucks of glutathione in Lagos last week.
Callng for inter-agency cooperation and synergy to stop the importation of illicit substances, the NAFDAC boss suggested that the Foreign Affairs and Finance Ministries as well as other revelant government agencies could relate with other countries especially China to check laws which allow them export products banned in their own countries to a others countries including Nigeria.
According to Global Industry Analysts, the global market for skin-lightening products is projected to reach $31.2 billion by 2024, up from $17.9 billion in 2017, especially in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Glutathione is very costly but there is still a large demand for it in the country.