High Mercury in Whitening Creams Linked to Kidney Disease


Dermatologists have raised serious concerns about the high concentration of mercury found in various skin whitening Creams, attributing it to an increase in kidney diseases.

At a press conference held at the Health Promotion Bureau, Dr. Indira Kahawita, a dermatologist at Colombo National Hospital, highlighted the alarming trend of people applying these mercury-laden ointments all over their bodies. “The mercury contained in these ointments can accumulate in the blood circulation system through the skin, leading to kidney diseases,” she explained. This accumulation has been linked to a noticeable rise in the number of kidney patients.

Dr. Kahawita further warned that the use of mercury-containing ointments could accelerate the risk of kidney disease, potentially before even leading to cancer.

Patients who have used these whitening creams often present with blackened palms and soles, and their nails turn brownish to orange, she noted.

In response to this public health issue, a collaborative program between the World Health Organization and Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Health is being implemented to completely eliminate the use of mercury in these products.

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