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Tainted skin cream from Mexico leaves California woman in semi-comatose state after mercury poisoning

2019-09-11

A California woman was left in a semi-comatose state after using a tainted skin cream she ordered from Mexico.

The unidentified woman bought Pond’s skin cream, meant as a skin lightener and to remove spots and wrinkles, “through an informal network" from Mexico, according to Sacramento County Public Health.

Officials said a third party, not Pond’s, added mercury to the skin cream after purchase.

“Sacramento County Public Health urges the community to immediately stop using similar skin creams imported from Mexico due to the risk of contamination with methylmercury,” Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye said in a statement.

Anyone using a similar product from Mexico is urged to stop immediately and b ring the cream to their doctor.

Symptoms of mercury poisoning include difficulty concentrating, memory loss, nervousness, irritability, anxiety, depression, insomnia, headaches, weight loss, fatigue, tremors and numbness or tingling in the hands, feet or around the lips.

Sacramento County Public Health and the California Department of Public Health are testing similar creams in the Sacramento area for methylmercury.

More than 60 cases of mercury poisoning have been linked to “foreign brand, unlabeled, and/or homemade skin creams” have been recorded in California over the last nine years.