Kampala- Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has banned the importation and selling of cosmetics containing hydroquinone and mercury ingredients.
The list of products includes more than 100 products in the form of lotions, soap and skin creams that have been banned.
UNBS, according to Mr Robert Luyombya, the agency’s public relations officer, reached the decision after several round table discussions involving key stakeholders, including Ministry of Trade, Kampala City Traders Association and cosmetic traders, which deliberated on the dangers of the products.
The discussions, Mr Luyombya said, are part of ongoing efforts that seek to wipe substandard cosmetics on the Uganda market.
“We will be conducting inspection effective next month to ensure that none of the products with these ingredients is imported. If we find any on the market we shall confiscate them,” he said.
The UNBS Act compels the agency to safeguard required standards in relation to the quality of products that are put on the market.
In the last 10 years, there has been a rapid growth in the importation of substandard products that are not only dangerous to human life but present huge economic challenges.
According to UNBS, a number of crèmes and soaps that are used in skin lightening contain hydroquinone.
The products, which also can help to clear dark skin patches, liver spots and age or pregnancy spots have a number of side effects, including skin discolouration, mild burning and skin dryness.
Mercury products, which also have functions similar to those of hydroquinone products, have the potential to damage inner organs such as the kidney and skin scaring.
Mercury, which is also used as a preservative in a number of products such as eye makeup cleansing and mascara, has the potential to cause long term effects if used in excess.
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