Mercury Danger in Soap in sub-Saharan Africa
Posted by addisethiopia on January 30, 2013
Several brands of soap with high contents of mercury are sold in Africa south of the Saha-ra. The real purpose of mercury in these pro-ducts is to make black skin and hair lighter, although the labels on the soaps often state that they are germicidal. According to their labels some of the soaps are manufactured in Europe, e.g. the UK and Italy. The skin ligh-teners are exported to various African coun-tries and distributed in sub-Saharan Africa where they can be bought on local markets. Some of these mercury-rich soaps are smuggled back into the European Union and can be bought in in hairdressers shops. The distribution of soaps containing mercury is, according to WHO, banned in many African countries, in the EU and North America.
These soaps contain high amounts of mer-cury. Often the amount of mercury in the soap is written on the label, but in some cases the label syas nothing about how much mercury the soap contains.
The mercury contents in a few soaps from Ghana have recently been analysed. The labels of Crusader and Moore stated that they contain mercury, whereas mercury was not mentioned on the label of Silver Rose.