Published 2:49 PM EDT Sep 12, 2019
A California woman is in a “semi-comatose state” after using a face cream tainted with a potent form of mercury.
The woman, 47, used an anti-aging cream sold under the Pond’s brand by a third party that imported the cream from Mexico. The importer apparently added methylmercury into the cream, according to the Sacramento County Department of Health Services in a statement released Tuesday.
A statement from Pond’s says the brand does not manufacture products containing methylmercury and is working with authorities to investigate the incident. The company advises customers to buy its products only from official vendors.
This is the first case of methylmercury poisoning from the use of skin cream in the county, the Sacramento County Department of Health Services confirmed.
Methylmercury can cause blindness, deafness and damage to the central nervous system, according to the National Institutes of Health. Severe poisoning from methylmercury is irreversible.
It has occurred from the ingestion of fish from contaminated waters and meat from livestock who ate contaminated grain.
When added to skin care products, methylmercury stops the production of melanin, resulting in a lighter skin tone, according to the World Health Organization. Methylmercury can cause rashes, scarring and discoloration.
Sacramento officials warned its residents to stop using similar face creams imported from Mexico, which may be contaminated with methylmercury.
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