The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), says it will embark on a nationwide tour to warn of the dangers inherent in the usage of bleaching creams before the clampdown on the manufacturers and sellers of bleaching creams.
This was disclosed on Thursday in Lagos during a sensitisation workshop for the Media on the dangers of bleaching cream, and regulatory controls.
The Acting Director General of the Agency, Dr. Monica Eimunjeze urged the Media to champion the campaign against the skin bleaching pandemic by providing Nigerians with the right information to make the right decision about safeguarding their health.
Dr. Eimunjeze decried the proliferation of skin Bleaching creams and products in the country that has assumed alarming proportion to the detriment of the majority of the unsuspecting Nigerians.
She noted that most of the bleaching creams out there are not registered by the agency, and so, could be harmful to the body. “There are those who are clandestinely in the market in which the Agency is yet to effect the regulatory control and consumers must be very careful about these creams.”
She said, “We will be moving to full-time enforcement so we have Nigerians on notice. We have had some operations in the past, so we are going to look very closely again.When the full-time enforcement starts, everybody will understand the reason we are doing what we are doing. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse.”
“We see dangers inherent in using these cream products that are not in our regulatory process, so we are collaborating with health journalists to help us increase awareness on the products that have not gone through the regulatory process on the impacts these could have on their health.”
She noted that the use of bleaching creams is not only endemic in Nigeria but is global.
“Most people do not do skincare when you do skincare you protect your skin, you use sunscreen, you exfoliate which is not bad but when you use harmful chemicals that are dangerous to the layers of the skin and you go to the sun without protection, you begin to burn,” she added.
Also different presentations were made by various experts in the field. Mrs. Anto Ebele made presentation on ‘An overview of skin Bleaching: The NAFDAC perspective’, while Prof. Adeniyi Abiodun represented by Dr. Chido Nwakamma presented a paper on ‘The role Mass Media in promoting public health in Nigeria.’
Also Dr. Leonard Omokpariola spoke eruditely on ‘The safe handling of chemicals and ingredients in the cosmetics industry’. Pharm. Ken Onu did justice to his presentation on ‘The Cosmovigillance Best practices’, while the last presentation was made by NAFDAC’s Deputy Director, Mrs. Linda Halim.
Meanwhile in a sting operation at the Trade Fair market Lagos, NAFDAC uncovered unwholesome canned tomato paste, canned fish which were smuggled into the country.
Presenting the confiscated products to the Media, the NAFDAC DG warned consumers to desist from buying food items that has not been certified by NAFDAC.