The Price of Beauty: Woman in Coma Due to Mercury-Contaminated Face Cream

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The Price of Beauty: Woman in Coma Due to Mercury-Contaminated Face Cream


Face creams generally help a person look beautiful, but what if it makes them go into a coma? A woman from California is hospitalized after using a Pond’s-labeled cream, writes Char Adams of celebrity and human interest news website People. It is said that the cream “had been tainted with a poisonous form of mercury,” according to a news release by the Sacramento County Department of Health Services (SCDHS).

The woman, whose identity has not been disclosed, purchased the skin-lightening cream through an “informal network” from Mexico. As reported by the officials, a third party added methylmercury to the cream. Currently, the woman “is in a semi-comatose state,” the officials found. Meanwhile, her son informs California-based television station and NBC affiliate KCRA that she has been hospitalized since July.


Photo Credit: KCRA


This is the first reported case of methylmercury poisoning linked to a skin cream in the United States, notes SCDHS. Methylmercury is known to cause damage to one's nervous system, explains health agency Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Pond’s “does not use mercury in its products,” according to a spokesperson, cites Ben Kesslen of American television network NBC. Pond’s said in a statement that the firm takes the matter seriously and work closely with all authorized retailers to ensure its products “remain intact and safe from shipment to shelf.”

Pond’s mentioned illegitimate sales, product tampering, and reselling as issues plaguing the beauty industry,  which “deserve close attention and consumer awareness.” While the product the woman used is not sold in the U.S., the beauty and health care brand is concerned about her and are collaborating with authorities to investigate the case.


Photo Credit: @SacCountyCA on Twitter (via People)


Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye urges the public to avoid using similar skin creams from Mexico due to methylmercury contamination, which can be perilous to children and adults. Authorities require consumers to stop using creams from Mexico and get it tested at a doctor's for mercury.



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