Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has raised alarm, warning Nigerians against using unauthorized cosmetics and dangerous chemicals to bleach their skin to enhance beauty.
Director-General of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, who spoke during a two-day retreat by the agency’s Top Management Committee in Lagos, warned that bleaching agents cause skin cancer, organ damage and death.
In a statement on Sunday, Adeyeye said: “We don’t just ban products because they are bleaching agents but are prohibited because of safety issues surrounding particular ingredients in the products as they could cause skin cancer as well as damage the liver and kidney.
“Many of the importers smuggle the products into the country under the guise of Global listing to bypass NAFDAC inspection. Bleaching has become a pandemic amongst both women and their male counterparts.”
Adeyeye expressed concern about the proliferation of beauticians engaged in the formulation of unauthorized chemicals that they administer to their unsuspecting clients.
According to her, most Spa outlets in the country’s cosmopolitan cities are culpable of the unhealthy practice of mixing chemicals and natural products like pawpaw, carrot, etc. to make creams, for their clients’ use.
She noted that these are thereafter packaged, labelled, and sold online to clients, adding that some Spa owners have gone further to influence some clinics with medical doctors joining to carry out these nefarious activities by including injected substances such as vitamin C infusion and glutathione on clients.