The Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, has cautioned Nigerians against the continuous use of bleaching creams, saying it poses an enormous danger to human health.
Adeyeye spoke at the Media Sensitisation Workshop on the Dangers of Bleaching Creams and Regulatory Control organised for the Association of Nigerian Health Journalists on Friday in Ibadan.
According to her, some of the harmful effects of bleaching creams include cancer, damage to vital organs of the body, skin irritation and allergy, skin burns and rashes, wrinkles, premature skin ageing and prolonged healing of wounds.
She said that NAFDAC had organised the sensitisation workshop for the health journalists in different zones of Nigeria, in which the South-West edition in Ibadan was the fourth in Nigeria.
“NAFDAC will continue to recognise the partnership, involvement and important roles of journalists in taking the message of the dangers in the continuous use of bleaching creams to the grassroots through their various platforms, ” she said.
Adeyeye added that NAFDAC has been carrying out a lot of raids on manufacturers, stores and the bleaching cosmetics products retail outlets in fulfilment of its mandate of safeguarding the health of the nation.
She said that NAFDAC would heighten surveillance on the Spas in the country and raise sensitisation campaigns on the dangers of continuous use of the bleaching creams.
“We discovered that many operators of the Spas lack knowledge that mixing up different ingredients, either organic or inorganic to form cosmetics can result in a bad effect on the users.
“Nigerians should always know that black is beautiful and they do not need to bleach their skin to please anyone,” she cautioned.
Also, Mrs Roseline Ajayi, the Director, of the South-West Zone of NAFDAC, stressed the need for NAFDAC to build capacity and strengthen Cosmetovigilance, a concept of safety monitoring of cosmetics products.
According to her, this refers to the post-marketing surveillance of undesirable effects of cosmetics products.
Ajayi added that the growing adoption of cosmetics products in developed and developing countries would primarily drive the global market growth of the products.
“The risks associated with cosmetics products have elevated the need for cosmetovigilance services,” she said.
Commenting, Dr Leonard Omokpariola, the Director, Chemical Evaluation and Research, at NAFDAC, said that the prolonged usage of cosmetics products could cause harm to the human body, either topically or systemically, especially when used or applied to the skin.
Omokpariola warned that the chemicals in some cosmetics products “are endocrine disruptors”, saying that it could lead to early puberty and low sperm count in men due to high estrogenic activities.