The Health Ministry's National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Department (NPRA) has named three cosmetic products that contain scheduled poisons which can be harmful to health.
In a statement, Health director-general, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the products are GG Pinky Day Cream for Skin, Tati Therapy Cream 1 and Tati Therapy Cream 2.
"The notifications of these cosmetic products have been cancelled by the senior director of pharmaceutical services after detecting scheduled poisons in the products," he said.
Dr Noor Hisham said among the scheduled poisons found in the products were mercury, hydroquinone, and tretinoin which were prohibited in cosmetic products.
He said cosmetic products mixed with hydroquinone, if used could cause redness to the skin, discomfort, undesirable skin discolouration and might also cause the skin to become hypersensitive.
"The side effects of the use of hydroquinone can halt the process of pigmentation (depigmentation) which reduces skin protection from UV rays and this could lead to skin cancer," he warned.
Cosmetic products mixed with tretinoimr are usually used to treat acne and reduce wrinkles. However, unsupervised use of the product can cause redness to the skin, discomfort, burning, peeling and hypersensitivity to sunlight.
For products mixed with mercury, the side effects, when it is absorbed by the body can cause damage to the kidney and nervous system. It can also affect the development of a child's brain.
The adverse effects due to the exposure to mercury are usually experienced by the people around, especially children. When the products are applied to the skin it can cause rashes, irritation and changes to the skin.
Dr Noor Hisham warned sellers and distributors to stop selling and distributing the three cosmetic products immediately because they could face punishment under the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations 1984.
"Offenders can be fined not more than RM25,000 or imprisonment of up to three years, or both, for the first offence. For subsequent offences, offenders can be fined not exceeding RM50,000 or be jailed for up to five years, or both," he said.
For any inquiries, consumers are advised to contact the NPRA at 03-7883 5400, email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the NPRA website at http://npra.moh.gov.my.