Antigua to ban bleaching cream, many residents unhappy


Antigua and Barbuda could soon be among a number of countries worldwide that have banned products that contain skin lightening chemicals like bleaching creams and other cosmetic products. CLICK HERE TO JOIN OUR WHATSAPP GROUP.

Skin lightening products are known to weaken the skin’s barrier and can affect internal health over time.

Commonly used creams with bleaching agents found in Antigua and Barbuda include Topiclear, Ambi, Caro White and a type of blue soap colloquially called ‘cake soap’. They are sold in stores, supermarkets and some pharmacies.

Dr Linroy Christian, Director of Analytical Services, said his team at the government’s central laboratory are also looking for local home-made products that are advertised as skin lightening creams and promise to tone the skin.

“We’re focusing on a lot of commercial brands initially but we want any particular skin lightening cream. We’ve already had upwards, I think, of 179 products that we’ve bought so far,” he said.

The samples collected to date include cosmetics like make-up foundation, mascara, hair gel and soaps that are being screened for mercury.

The director shared that eventually they will test for other heavy metals like arsenic and lead which may also be present in these products and are also quite toxic.

“We’ve had some interesting data on the mercury levels in skin lightening creams and it’s come up actually quite high in some instances,” he explained.

“A lot of these products are not labelled to show that they contain mercury. All of the brands that we’ve tested other than that particular one that have detected mercury, it doesn’t state on the label that it does contain mercury and we do not know the source of the mercury as well.

“There’s only one in the region that clearly states that it does have mercury.”

According to Dr Christian, his team has already collected samples of creams like those imported from various regions including Africa, Europe and the United States that are “dangerously high” in mercury.

The team has a draft regulation that will ban the importation of skin lightening creams and other cosmetics that contain above safe mercury levels of one part per million.

“It will have to go to the minister and from there we have to look at having this regulation being monitored under the Pesticides and Toxic Chemical Act and this would ban certain creams that are above one part per million of mercury.

“That is the threshold that we are proposing and if that is acceptable from the political directorate then this regulation will be enforced,” he said.

The ban on skin lightening products is the result of an ongoing project to measure the levels of mercury in the air, human hair, fish and birds and to eventually establish a Mercury Monitoring Network for the Caribbean, headquartered in Antigua.

Laboratory staff, in addition to other work underway, are currently collecting samples of skin lightening products from across the Caribbean region to have them tested in the lab.

“We want to ensure that people using these products are aware of the risks associated with these products.

“If you’re applying this to your skin, it will become interned into the body eventually and then you will have toxic effects on the liver and the brain and therefore kidneys as well,” Dr Christian added.

Toxic chemicals in skin lightening creams can also be passed on to children during breast feeding.

Other countries in the region like Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Dominica, Guyana, St Lucia, Barbados, St Kitts and Nevis, and Suriname are also partnering with the department in Antigua to measure the impact of mercury in skin bleaching products, and to measure the levels of heavy metals in other areas that affect health and the environment.


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  1. It’s about time they do this I support this move 100% . It will make our people more conscious of their skindvand more proud of themselves as human beings.

  2. Can govt. Ban these products just so?
    Or is individual freedom being removed?
    I ask as this could be the continuation of erosion of personal choice, freedom & rights.
    Ever so quietly our rights being diluted.

    • A couple of questions to your personal choice. Should one choose to walk naked on the streets? Should you be allowed to drive and drink at the same time?Should you have sexual intercourse with anyone anywhere without regards to gender, class or age? Which place on earth or the heavens you are allowed to do as you likes? It’s still your choice to used these products but it’s your choice to armed yourself and other’s but there will be consequences for your own behavior. It’s so interesting that we have personal choices but when the shit hits the fans we bawl for help.

      • Thank you Columbo.
        I agree that when your choice of an action, or use of equipment/product endangers others, there is a rationale behind making a restriction/regulation/law.
        However, when an individual’s choice of product is curtailed by importation bans, rather than tax i.e. sugar tax, then the product that possibly affects them, but not others, is no longer a personal choice, but a government dictate.

        For the record, personally I dislike skin lightening as believe we are all beautiful in the skin we are blessed with. However, it’s not my right to stop others using such products.

        Maybe a compromise is Govt. placing ‘Danger, trace elements, inc. mercury, in this product that are/could be dangerous to your health’.

        Also, I wonder why this big push now? Might it be because the Caribbean Mercury Monitoring Network is to be located here and that involves an inflow of $ to govt?

      • Your attack is baseless. This is about the purchase of a private good. Government makes society more inefficient when such a freedom is taken away. They should rather educate people and then let the free market decide consumption. Get over it, you interventionist and socialist!

    • The gov can ban any import. Like who they ban import of eggs to protect local producers or ban import of plastics. Might be different if it were locally made but they could still find a way.

  3. Wha can go so?
    Is a good thing l have doctor and pharmacist friends
    #kojic acid

  4. Lord ah wanda wha Pearl doing and thinking…She mussa done ask Paul ex wife that he treated so badly to send dung one barril ahead of the ban.

    • 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 at least Paul knows how to spell “GRATEFUL”

  5. Look at these hypocrites chastising the “colonial masters” calling for reparations but want to lighten their skin to look like the same people. Mercy these modern-day “house negroes” and mulatto are something else.

    MELANIN is beautiful 😍

  6. Color color ya done carry the boss labor queens on your car and now dem war do you dis??
    Wa dem go tell Wills and so chups
    Ya nah realize dem dey ha dem mouth fu chat
    Aryu just tap worry aryu head nuh dem cya do nothing bout dat
    Dat a da ppl discussion nah fu dem dey chups ma tell aryu a clown dem be nah

  7. Know how much voters a bleach an a Dat aryu come with boii aryu just move from ya
    Comedy aryu be

  8. 😵😵😂😂❌✝️☦️☠️🙅🏾🎌

    While you’re at it, banning products that is, can you take a look at such things as silicone, horse hair, plastic hair, acrylic, Lycra too!

    Please don’t forget about Rice_Pudding & Maw!

    • @ras smood you got me cracking up here!! a wah the silicone do u so? lmao! Leave the rice pudding and maw lone please………DWL. A deading

      • @*******…be very careful, when you’re “cracking up!” The crack_heads 😂😂👍🏽will toss you in their pipe and smoke you!

        If you’ve touched silicone ass, tits and clits you will think they just came from a Construction site, instead of a doctors office!

        Now, as for the #silicone,” I’m sure you know, once that shit cures, even if it stays flexible, a couple of things happens…
        A…the ass don’t jiggle no more.
        B…the tits are always standing at attention!
        C…the vibrating dildo becomes the only tool which can excite the clit long enough release the cured silicone.

        Now, as for the Rice_pudding & maw, we should export those to Japan to help build the sumo athletes.

      • Try Kno deh nah get my vote or my family members I dnt bleach but I use most of those things to remove bumps out my face,now wen they removed everything wat ppl going to do kmft mon

  9. …. toss in as well the black shoe polish that allegedly some high profile aged men use to keep their head hair ebony black!

  10. Some people bleach so long they forgot what color they are will even lie to the public and say they were born that way. We need to start appreciate how we were made, start loving ourselves. It’s like we have a large population thst suffer from inferiority complex.

    • “Inferiority complex”??? That’s the character behind the Wilmoth Daniel STRIPPER POLE BUS 🚌

  11. 🎵 Dem ah bleach 🎶 … check out Nardo Ranks – Them A Bleach on YouTube


  12. Thats right Gaston, tek wey dem right to bleach. Is that they voted for, especially the bleachers that support you. Serve them right.

      • @ Colombo you calling folks sick ?
        Idiot never have nothing sensible to say but calling names .

        • @ Real talk, he only does it because he doesn’t know how to express himself properly with the written word. How sad!

          Classic DEFENSIVE mechanism of the uneducated … I actually feel sorry for people like @ Colombo.

  13. Bleaching cream is made up of harmful heavy metals that can end up in our ground water supply and slowly poison humans and animals.It does not matter whether you bleached or not. It is the responsibilty of the government to protect the population and the environment from harm.

  14. Ban Clorox, for it would be used to bleached skins when those other products are banned. To all of you bleachers,just order your supplies before that ban is enforced.In my opinion,what you did with your skins is your damn business.Next thing this Government is going to say,everyone must wear RED Underwear.That would be the day when all hell would break loose.LOL.

  15. My grandmother died from complications of diabetes. Type II diabetes is a side effect of the steroids in some bleaching creams. They also cause high blood pressure. I’m angry they sell these products and unwary people buy them :(.
    I hope Dr. Christian’s research will lead to the identification of SAFE cosmetics. God bless the research project.

  16. This is the government’s business. Toxic chemicals poison and stunt children, poison the food that we eat, and poison our water. Some bleaching creams have chemicals that cause Diabetes and High Blood Pressure. The government should let the public continue to use dangerous chemicals? Who will pay their hospital bills?

  17. Lots of these products are use to remove dark spot out of ppl face kmt not everyone use them to bleach skin,you think is everyone can find money to visit dermatologist??????

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