A 47-year-old Californian woman has been in a semi-comatose state for weeks after using a methylmercury-contaminated Ponds skin cream.
This is the first reported case of methylmercury poisoning by skin cream in the US, according to Sacramento County health authorities.
The woman's son told NBC subsidiary KCRA in Sacramento that his mother has been in hospital since July. She arrived with numbness in her hands and face, blurred language and difficulty walking, health officials at the outlet said.
It was initially able to respond to verbal commands, but is now in a semi-comatose state, KCRA reported.
According to KCRA, it had more than 500 times the amount of mercury in the blood.
Doctors tested the woman's cosmetics as a source of poisoning. "When they came to the face cream, they found that they had a very high level of mercury," said her son.
Methylmercury is a very toxic form of mercury.
The woman brought out the cream marked with Ponds "This type of cream is used by consumers as a skin whitening and for the removal of stains and wrinkles," it says in the statement. "The mercury was not added by the manufacturer of the pond, but by a third party after the purchase."
In a statement to NBC News, Ponds said, "We do not use mercury in our products, we take this matter very seriously and work in close collaboration with all authorized retailers to ensure that products are kept intact from shipment to delivery are safe. "
" Improper sales, product manipulation, and resale are subjects of the beauty industry that deserve special attention and attention, "Ponds said. "The product in question is not sold in the US."
Mercury is sometimes added to creams by third parties because the poison stops melanin production, KCRA reported, citing health authorities.
Mercury can enter the nervous system and cause severe damage. "Once it gets into the brain, the drugs we have can not get it out, even if you go to the hospital," Dr. Olivia Kasirye opposite KCRA.
Both state and local health authorities warned the public to stay away from such creams.
"Sacramento County Public Health is urging the community to stop using similar skin creams imported from Mexico immediately, as there is a risk of contamination with methylmercury," Kasirye said in the statement.
California alone Over the past nine years there have been more than 60 intoxications associated with third-party skin creams without labels or homemade products containing a less toxic form of mercury, mercuric chloride or calomel.
The California Department of Health said it was illegal to sell skin cream products in the US containing 1