© 2020 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
KTXI 90.1 FM is currently on low power after equipment at our transmitter site suffered winter storm damage.
Bioscience-Medicine

Texas Woman Hospitalized After Using Face Cream From Mexico

Officials with the Texas Department of State Health Services is warning people not to buy cosmetics from outside of the U.S.
flickr: https://bit.ly/2trl8b6
Officials with the Texas Department of State Health Services is warning people not to buy cosmetics from outside of the U.S.

A Texas woman spent 10 days in the hospital after using a face cream she bought in Mexico. The cream was a mixture of a brand-name product and a large amount of mercury. 

The Texas Department of State Health Services says the woman got sick after using the product that she bought in a Mexican pharmacy. Officials with the Texas DSHS are warning people not to buy cosmetics from outside of the U.S. 

Lab testing found the product that sickened the woman contained 29,000 parts per million of inorganic mercury. U.S. regulations don’t allow the sale of skin cream with more than 1 ppm of mercury.

Mercury exposure can cause tremors, memory loss, trouble concentrating, depression and anxiety. Long-term exposure can cause nervous system damage and kidney failure.

A woman in California was permanently disabled last year after prolonged use of a skin cream that came from Mexico. The Texas woman is recovering.

Texas DSHS spokesman Chris Van Deusen said face creams containing mercury often claim to lighten the skin. They also may claim to fade freckles or age spots or fight acne. In addition to creams purchased in Mexico, Van Deusen said the department has found mercury in cosmetics imported from Mexico and Asia then sold in Texas at flea markets or person to person.

Bonnie Petrie can be reached at Bonnie@TPR.org and on Twitter at @kbonniepetrie.